Through the Looking Glass

By Jennifer A.K. Schafer Casani

Similar to the nonsensical literary theme found in the 1871 sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the foundation of the current economic landscape is just as distorted. It is only after completing Through the Looking Glass that the reader can make sense of the varied themes and plot devices.

Unfortunately, we in the PR and business world do not yet have the benefit of being at the end of this current economic story. We won’t have the luxury of full-understanding that hindsight brings until the current chapter fully unfolds.

So, then….. How do you polish up the lens of your own looking glass with which you view your firm’s tale? By regaining focus on what truly matters.

1. Focus on your strategic and business plans

These two tools are vital contributors to your firm’s story. They are like the table of contents which outlines how a book unfolds.

Make sure these two plans are revised yearly, or more often as financial factors dictate. And get them in writing; it just isn’t good enough to have them in your head. PR firms with concrete strategic and business plans are valued higher, both in terms of dollars and of desirability by buyers.

2. Focus on your personal plan

Do you still have the guts and gusto that PR entrepreneurship requires? Or has the personal parable of why you do what you do changed? Getting real clear with your personal motivations for being in business, and how they roll-up into your firm’s strategic and business plans, is essential at a time like this.

3. Focus on your bottom-line

As a PR firm owner you are the author, not the ghost-writer. Be personally cognizant of and accountable for what your current numbers mean.

Current, and more importantly correct, financials are like time-saving chapter summaries. Interpret and apply your balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, client roster, employee productivity report, etc. in conjunction with industry benchmarks. Doing so will ensure your expenses and operations are in-line with the desired outcome of your firm’s storyline.

4. Focus on managing time wisely

Wasted expenses aren’t the only factors to consider in today’s economic tale of woe. Wasted time is just as much of a tragedy. Systematically working through numbers 1 – 3 above will tell you where and how long you need to spend this resource.

Work smarter, not harder, on the things you can control. And seek out advisors where your areas of expertise fall short. This will help you navigate the twists and stomach-wrenching turns in the plot of today’s financial saga.

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