This is part 2 in a series called “Thriving in the Tough Times.” Read part 1 here.
The crazy thing about a downturn is that it doesn’t need a different rule book. The same small things that make a business successful will not change. The only difference is that the stakes are higher, and there’s a lot more fear and a hell of a lot of distractions.
So it’s natural to get anxious when the economy takes an unexpected dive. Owners start thinking about how they’ll cut staff, dial back inventory, split manager shifts and deal with suppliers. The panic can cause people to make decisions that might not be right. That’s the trap. Let your competition fall for it. Let them reset their standards. Let them create more customers for you. Jimmy John’s has always done well in tough markets, and I’ll tell you why.
You have to get your mind right. Turn off the news. Stop reading the papers. Stop worrying about tomorrow and solve today’s problems today. Start focusing on the right things, the things that work, the things in your control. Recessions are like the fourth quarter of a football game. Hold your four fingers up. It’s winning time.
When we’ve dealt with downturns in the past, our approach was to:
- Double down on quality
- Lead by example
- Serve our people
- Focus, focus, focus on the customer
- And remember why we got into this business
I’ll go into detail on what each of these mean to me, at Jimmy Johns, what worked and what didn’t, what our competition did and how it put us ahead coming out; starting with Doubling Down on Quality.
Would love to hear what’s on your mind, any comments or questions keeping you up at: HeyJimmy@jimmyjohnliautaud.com.