Business & Economics

Why Waiting for a Turnaround Could Kill Your Business

Business Strategy  |  3 min read

We’re all hardwired to be optimistic. It’s a survival mechanism that gets us through natural disasters, wars and catastrophes that seem insurmountable. It is part of our irrepressible human spirit.

With the COVID-19 pandemic crawling into its final stretch after 3 years of ravaging the globe, talk of economic turnaround is in the air. When one considers the depth and scale of the de facto problems we all face, it seems a little hard to imagine how deeply grounded this optimism can be in reality.

I’d like to shrug and say, “I’ll take it,” but frankly that feels a little dangerous.

You see, although financial crashes and collapses often happen quickly and seemingly out of the blue, recoveries tend to take much longer. It simply takes time for the flywheel of progress to regain momentum once changes, even substantial ones, are put into effect.

Our world has never been more uncertain. With nations deeper in debt than ever, rising inflation and international relations in a volatile position the likes of which has not been seen in generations, the stage is set for an infinite number of things to go wrong. Nations have become insular, and worldwide consumer and corporate confidence are both at longtime lows. 

Those things affect us, and we have our own problems at home: big ones. While central Canada struggles to restore crippled output levels, the west has lost tens of thousands of jobs in an energy industry that will probably never return to its former glory. Tens of thousands more are expected. Feuds between provincial leaders over bitumen pipelines and environmental policy will continue to rage from the energy heartland into British Columbia and Quebec, creating much potential for crippling political battles.

Meanwhile, construction markets nationwide continue to falter, as real estate futures remain uncertain. Tourism struggles to see a path to recovery while battered farmers hold their collective breath. No region or sector has a clear future outcome, and the downside potential is massive all around.

As a business owner, even if you make excellent decisions and are exceptionally proactive, there is no accounting for the people who owe you money. Bad situations facing others far upstream can often flood directly into your own well-tended livelihood. And if customers who are slow in paying now are betting the farm on a quick turnaround, that will invariably spell trouble one day soon.

I don’t mean to sound bleak or overly negative. Optimism is an important quality for achieving success, and is essential to setting bold, ambitious goals. Much of my own successes have come from being profoundly optimistic. But is important not to confuse ambition with realism, and to temper hope with caution—always.

While others wait with hopeful expectation that a turnaround is nigh, you should play this to your advantage, and aggressively collect money owed to you now, rather than exercise patience and potentially be impacted when things do not progress as quickly as expected. If you’ve been waiting or trying without success, now is the time to make use of your collection agency. Not next week or next month, when it could be too late.

Because even if you prove to be wrong, and we all experience a sudden, swift turnaround with very little on the downside, you will be miles ahead of others who chose to wait it out. 

Humanity will prevail, and smart business owners always will find ways to not only survive but prosper. Those who do will be the ones who are proactive, bold, and realistic about what the future holds. Optimism will guide and inspire them through the darkness, but it will not convince their leaders to take a foot off the accelerator.

If you need help jumping on overdue accounts, reach out to my team. And if you’re searching for the best Canadian collection agency for the job, be sure to check out the link below. 

Keep your chin up and focus on creating amazing value for your customers—and let’s leverage our strengths together to create those better days rather than idly hope for them!

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Brian Summerflet Author: Brian Summerfelt

President and CEO of MetCredit, Canada's top-performing consumer and commercial collection agency

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