Stick With Your Core Values in Good Times and Bad

Be honest. It may sound simple but it’s the best way to conduct business. When dealing with partners, associates, employees, and vendors, share with them pertinent information—even though it may be uncomfortable. When be was forced to make across-the-board budget cuts, I clearly communicated the financial state of the company with every employee from the receptionist to our senior management team. Not surprisingly, they understood. Just as important, they all played a role in controlling costs.

Don’t hide from creditors, even though you may be tempted to. Avoiding the phone is no way to run your business or your life. They will eventually find you, and you’ll probably wind up losing a service that’s critical to the operation of your business. Instead, talk to them and work out a new timetable for paying your bills. Manage, even lower, expectations. If you tell a creditor you’re going to pay by a certain date, stay true to your word. Instruct and monitor your staff so that they are honoring such agreements. Don’t let your rep be sullied by others’ actions.

Review all contracts. The current environment offers leverage to correct ill-advised decisions you may have made in the past. A number of business owners enter into agreements with terms that may hobble their enterprises in the long run. Evaluate whether you need to keep certain services as well as renegotiate terms in your favor.

Continue to maintain and build relationships while managing through hard times. Contact business mentors for advice. Visit clients who may be facing the same struggles. Find associations and organizations that can help you identify resources and assistance within your industry. Use these contacts to produce contracts.

I strongly believe that if you stick with your core values during these tough times, it will serve you well when the economy rebounds. So while others debate, take action now.

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  • Mr. Graves,
    Well Said. i have been an avid reader of the print version B.E. for some time and have enjoyed the insights that have been provided over the years. I’m so glad that I found you online. Sticking with Core values is crucial! Not only for the reasons that you have mentioned above but in order to excel in these tough times it’s going to take some warriors that are willing to go the extra mile(s). While the heat is on, for those that are passionate enough to hang in there, the dross of laziness tend to burn off. The consumer has always been smart. Now, they are using a little more caution when choosing who to have a relationship with. BUT THEY ARE CHOOSING! That’s good news to those that want to “win” their business. Honesty, integrety, passion, selflessness and a commitment to excellence are the ingredients in the cream that rises to the top. These are perfect times for the hungry to succeed.

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