Does it scare you to say “no” to clients? This is the time to try it with great consideration for the consequences. Many times when you or your sales team says yes, the internal cost is extremely high. With the supply chain disrupted, salaries going up, price of gas soaring, etc., anything out of your sweet spot may need to be repriced or refused.

Flip this even further just to humor me: I’m guessing your margins are dropping, your lead times are extending, and there may be churn in your new hires. I don’t think it matters whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, health care or professional service organization, you are probably offering or accepting requests that you aren’t and never will be good at executing. Just cause you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.

A Vistage speaker and Member was asked if he would fly to Ontario, CN. from L.A. for 2 talks requiring several hours of driving in between and to and from the airport. When asked my opinion, I suggested that he say “no”. He doesn’t operate in Canada. He will get asked to give other talks.

A custom furniture manufacturer mentioned that he can’t get ahead of the price increases by suppliers even though he has raised prices several times. He is evaluating and cutting his offerings. He doesn’t need so many finishes. He is focusing on getting fewer products out faster which increases turns.

In a time of rising inflation, focus on your sweet spot. Improve efficiencies. Stay profitable. Carefully invest in growth plans. Don’t stop R & D. Do great onboarding and appreciate your team members.  Some competitors who are not doing all of the above may struggle. This is a time when well run companies get a major competitive advantage. May it be yours.

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