If I had a Trillion…

Is it just me wondering or do others worry that last week’s G-20 Summit big photo opportunity featured some pretty nervous smiles? Politicians at the G-20 Summit were smiling for the camera while continuing to suggest that we spend our way out of debt. Have they got it all figured out? Interest rates will certainly spike above 1% some time in the (near) future. So, how long can you continue to spend and spend again? While I appreciate their efforts, I find it worrisome that the trillions are adding up so quickly.

Maybe if I could print money then I might better understand where they are going with this.

But, like my clients, I just can’t do that.
So, what’s the solution? What if we applied some entrepreneurial business principles to the business of economic reform?

Re-engineer, don’t cut. Re-engineering your business means finding innovative ways to deliver the same (or better) product and service at a lower cost. Cutting means saving money at all costs. Every business retains clients that may not be as profitable as they appear to be, or has products that no longer contribute to the bottom-line at the levels that they should. When was the last time that you truly looked at the various clients or groups of clients that you service and the products that you offer to them? You may find that you are trading dollars in a specific area and that you may actually be better off ‘streamlining’ that part of your business and focusing all of your time and energy to nurture the most profitable areas. Remember, you get paid from the bottom-line, not the top.

Invest, don’t spend. I am the first to get on the bandwagon that says that recessions are the best times to grow, and to not cut your marketing and R&D dollars because they are your company’s future. So, where does the money come from? Well, if you have taken the time to re-engineer then you will be acutely focused on your future opportunities. And so will your company’s cash flow.

Guarantee, don’t promise. Last but not least, picture this prospect: have the politicians (senators, congressman, MPs, MPPs etc) personally guarantee one million dollars each of the incremental debt. Sadly, we know that would never happen. But in our gut we know we want to say, “Don’t just promise that it’ll be better, fully stand and feel what it means to stand behind your words”. One million dollars each may add up to only a nominal amount relative to the total debt. But a guarantee would really enable these leaders to fully feel the ‘entrepreneur’s stomach’….who must do just that. Entrepreneurs know what it is like to sit across from the banker and sign for his or her life savings and kids’ education because they believe in and commit to an idea, opportunity and business direction.

It might not fully answer decades of lax financial policy. But one step in the right direction may be the adoption of sound business principles used everyday by smart entrepreneurs and business managers: Re-engineer, invest and guarantee … to me, it’s not a ‘small’ business idea.

Your thoughts?

– Ken Tencer