Sunday, 4 October 2009

Seeing The Bright Side

If I take a few quotes from Oliver Horton's article Seeing The Bright Side you get the gist of my argument about surviving the recession:

“Take action now,” advises business consultant Robert Craven from consultancy firm Directors' Centre. “Our experience is that the world divides into those who step up and those who step down."Those who step up, says Craven, decide to work even harder. Those who step down tend to whinge and moan. They don’t want to work harder so their first action is to cut costs.

“If one group of businesses is working 20% harder and the other group is working 20% less hard, that creates a huge gap. Those businesses able to step up have a big advantage,” says Craven.The recession offers an opportunity to steal market share, to focus your business, to go one step ahead of the other guy.

Craven expects to see as many businesses fail after the recession as during it. “It’s a long game, not a sprint,” he says. Craven says business owners need to ask themselves, clearly and honestly, if their business is viable in the short term. And if it is viable in the short term, is it viable in the long term? “If it’s not, then you’re beating your head against a brick wall. Hope is not a method,” he insists.

If you do choose to stay in business, Craven believes you must focus on the basics. Put prices up if possible. Instigate clear marketing. Deliver jaw-dropping service and product. Go the extra mile. Get rid of clients that don’t pay or are just time-wasters. Fix credit terms and a system for collecting the money you’ve earned. Make it easier for people to buy. Talk to clients. Step up sales initiatives. Keep the business moving, keep it alive.

Easier said than done. Or is it? It takes a massive amount of energy to make these things happen.

The consultancy part of our business at The Directors' Centre has started putting in place 'devices' and 'processes' to enable MDs to deliver on the mantra above. Read the case studies posted on the website or call/email Lesley, Paul or myself on +44 (0)1225 851044 to find our more.

Directors' Centre - consultancy for growing businesses
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