Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween! Looks like ours will get rained out, but I have a back up plan;o)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Plan B Strategies and Solutions

The need for practical business solutions is not new. What has changed during the past decade is the growing importance of having a “Plan B” because an initial strategy has fallen flat on its face. Failure is the best possible reminder of the following wisdom:

Always Have a Plan B.

Individuals and companies might have different illustrations that make a similar point: new solutions and strategies will be increasingly necessary. How many times does a strategy or solution have to fail before it is appropriate to try something new?

Many years ago Albert Einstein offered his own wisdom about the cycle of repeating the same thing over and over again. I have included his memorable quote below.

business strategy and solutions

Plan B for Banking Services, Cable Companies, College Education, and Internet Publishing

I believe that Albert Einstein's definition of “Insanity” is illustrated by a number of areas in which businesses and individuals keep pursuing a similar solution and strategy despite the apparent lack of success:

  • Banks
  • Overpriced and ineffective services from cable companies and universities
  • Internet publishing of articles and websites

For those that haven't noticed, banks have changed dramatically during the past 15 years. In part this is due to the elimination of many legal requirements since the Glass-Steagall Act was taken off the books in 1999. These changes were sought by the banks for several decades. There have been numerous financial problems as a result. Many of the biggest banks have begun “payday lending programs” which charge individual borrowers annualized rates of interest that generally exceed 300%. Meanwhile many small businesses have been unable to get normal levels of commercial financing. Tell me again why we bailed out the banks in 2008?

Universities and cable companies are both now providing services that most observers view as overpriced and ineffective. Many people are already using a “Plan B” approach to replace both, but traditions take a long time to disappear even when they have stopped working. In the case of colleges, costs keep increasing while employment prospects for college graduates are decreasing. For cable companies (which are rapidly becoming phone companies as well), there is a growing question about whether they will even exist in ten years given how inept they have proven to be at dealing with consumers while continuing to charge more and more. How many people want to fire their cable company? (We have pulled the plug on cable television and phone services at our house.)

In the world of internet publishing, Google keeps on changing and forcing internet publishers to guess about the next shoe to drop. This might represent the most challenging place of all to formulate an effective Plan B strategy. But the verdict is already in about several old publishing strategies and solutions that are not working anymore. These include article marketing and article spinning. There are also publishing websites that have gone from best to worst as a result of the evolving standards on the internet. What is working and what is not working?

New Solutions and Strategies

When the old approaches stop working, it is a prudent time to seek new ideas. While some might refer to this as having a Plan B, you should call it whatever makes it more actionable for you. “Moving forward” and “It’s time to face the facts” are just two common-sense alternatives if “Plan B” doesn't seem catchy enough for you.