I had the following conversation with a dear friend who has been in this business as long as I have. For the life of me, I don’t know the answer nor do I have any idea where to begin. His question:
“Things are going pretty tough and I’m thinking about quitting. I have been threading water for a year now, expenses are raising and we are not signing up any new A clients, just shuffling riff raff (his words, not mine). Every time I go into a store I see them providing more and more of my services and then I saw a commercial where Verizon will do all the mobility consulting as well. I don’t see a future.”
I emphasized the last line because that is what really hit me hard as the clear indication of a time to quit. It’s one thing for the market to tell you that you’re a failure – The Geek Squad Dave Syndrome – where your customers won’t pay and you’re stuck in a delusion that it’s not your fault you’re not going anywhere. But when you’ve given up (“I don’t see a future”) then it’s clearly a time to cut and run.
I didn’t know what to tell the guy. I’ve always approached this business with the fundamental understanding that it’s always shifting and changing; that survival depends on our ability to forecast demand and produce solutions for the common problems.
But what do you do if you designed your business for something that was hot and all of a sudden it is not (in his case, managed services). What would you say if you were in my shoes?