From “Doing Fine” To “Stepping Up”

The year is closing out and it’s budget season again, a time to look ahead to 2009. Despite the chilly economic climate, there are plenty of companies doing pretty nicely thank you. At Capstone we have a number of successful clients who have their current operations nailed down. Products are selling, customers are loyal and they have their internal systems down to a science. 

For them, the temptation now is to simply hold course and watch as weaker competitors get tossed around by the waves of fear and crisis. Conventionally, the only strategic thrust you’d see here would be for still greater efficiencies and an uptick in customer service. 

Instead, our clients are taking a more aggressive stance and pushing for new external growth. They are in research mode, hunting for the next transformation in their industry and they are looking at acquisition as the key to expansion.

 A quote here from Peter Drucker:  “Traditional planning asks — what will happen next? Planning in times of uncertainty asks instead — what has already happened that will create the future?”

If you spend a bit of time and energy looking around corners, you can use the current environment to plan exceptional external growth three to five years out. But why acquisitions? Because this isn’t about transforming your current success into something else. It’s about launching new initiatives in parallel with your mature operations. The right external partner can bring something new and different to your mix, protecting you from the natural decline that follows maturity and extending your company lifecycle into the next decade.

The message I get from these forward-thinking clients of ours? Ignore the gloom-and-doom press, invest in market intelligence and look for opportunity outside your own four walls. A little time spent here could generate huge returns in the years to come.

This post was contributed by Capstone’s Managing Director, John Dearing