Beware the rumbling herd

Saturday, January 31, 2009

During times like these, I occasionally want to close my eyes, groan and say, “Wake me when it’s over.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are being laid off; home prices are plummeting; the U.S. auto industry is in shambles; the federal deficit is humongous; and the stock market dropped about 40% last year.

If that’s not enough to turn your blood cold, President Barack Obama and pundits say things are likely to get worse before they get better. HME providers face a double whammy: an economy in recession and dwindling reimbursement.

That’s tough stuff.

It’s no surprise that a lot of companies become gun shy when the economy stalls. They hunker down. Lay people off. Delay planned expansions. Hold off on large purchases. A herd mentality takes over, creating an environment where too few make sensible strategic moves.

If you’ve begun following that herd, be careful you don’t follow it off a cliff.

In early January, I ran across this quote in a business story: “While companies are focused on cost reduction, they also have to find where future growth opportunities are. “

Warren Buffett did that last fall when he invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, the troubled investment bank. Warren’s laying the groundwork for recovery. You should be, too.

I know we are at HME News.

Coincidentally, I received an e-mail from a marketing company last month that summed up beautifully one of our initiatives. The email was entitled “The Great ‘09 Revenue Resolution: 10 Marketing Tips To Help You Transition From Cost Cutting To Rainmaking This Year.” Of the 10 resolutions, here’s the one that really grabbed me: “Don’t go it alone. In this tough economy, it can be comforting to hear from business owners who are fighting tooth and nail to keep their businesses open just like you.”

That’s what the HME News Business Summit is all about! Provider helping provider, the sharing of effective business strategies, benchmarking data and best practices.

In this economy, if your competition decides to follow the herd off a cliff, let them. You don’t have to. You can come to the HME News Business Summit instead.  If you do, I guarantee that you’ll return home with a suitcase full of ideas that will drive your company toward greater success. 

Check out the Summit brochure on page 13, and then plan to be in Baltimore April 19-21. This year’s event will kick off the HME Exposition & Conference, April 21-23.