Operations

Publisher's Page: The ‘New Normal’ is Now a Part of Your Life.

Posted on August 1, 2003 by Sara Eastwood - Also by this author

Many of you know a bit about my life: a working mother of three boys, married to an entrepreneur. And you may know that I regularly draw on my personal experiences to help me think up programs that help move this industry forward.

I’ve spent many evenings with my husband discussing the trials and tribulations of his days: running a company that is tied to the travel industry (he manufactures custom trade show exhibits) and vulnerable to budget cuts.

Because I know first-hand what my husband – a small business owner in a service industry that is totally reliant on the economic climate and business travel – is up against, I believe I can truly understand the challenges that many of you face.

My husband and I often try to figure out how to operate in what we call the “new normal.” None of the old problem-solving business techniques – those covering sales and marketing, operations, and employee management – work anymore and we are pressed to find new ways to better manage our business resources.

In one of our late-night discussions last summer, my husband showed me a brochure for an industry retreat he had received. Everything that was being planned seemed to address his immediate business challenges.

I looked at him and said, “You have to go to this!” Many of the leaders in his industry were making presentations and the seminar topics were timely and on point. He reminded me, though, that his revenue was off 40% (sound familiar?) and that there was no way he could afford the money or time needed to attend.

But I talked him into going anyway. And guess what? One year later, Mark McLean is one of three exhibit houses in his region that is still in business. And he owes much of his success to a strategic plan he created based on what he learned at that leadership retreat.

The money he spent to attend the event was not insignificant but it has paid off with many dividends.

Three years ago, I helped develop this industry’s leadership retreat, the LCT Leadership Summit. The objective was to provide operators with a setting to talk through their problems and to share ideas on how to deal with an ever-changing, ever-challenging economic climate.

The LCT Summit represents a big investment but that also helps to keep it exclusive. You have to be very committed and very serious about your business growth to spend the money and the time to attend. I believe it’s well worth it.

This year’s topics are right on the money with today’s pressing issues. They include: Sales Strategies, Marketing in the New Normal, Pricing Strategies, Insurance Strategies, Wage and Overtime Issues Today, The Workers Compensation Nightmare, Technology Problem-Solving, 2004 Business Travel Outlook (presented by American Express Corporate Travel) and Leadership as a Way Of Life (presented by Vince Lombardi Jr.).

There are only 100 seats at the Summit and we want them all filled with operators ready to roll!

I feel so strongly about the benefits of this event because I’ve been personally inspired by my husband’s experience. How can working to solve your challenges face-to-face with the headiest people in an industry NOT be better than staying isolated and simply throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks?

Also, we at LCT succeed only when the industry thrives. Our hope is that everyone concerned about these key industry issues comes to the LCT Summit.

Ultimately, we want operators to go home from the event prepared and ready to put in place a business strategy that works for them. If this editorial has hit home with you, please come. I promise it will make you a better business owner.

 

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