Global Solutions for Local Business- J. Holland & A. Herschell

Notes from a Recent Conference on Dealing with the Current Economy: Tips for the Business Owner img_3291

We recently were a part of an international conference for Business Owners that focussed on how they could deal with the current economic climate ( It had a strong U.S. slant), as a result we developed a quick point form list of activities and behaviours that a Business Owner could do:

  • Be proactive. Doing nothing is not an option. If you try to “wait it out” you will go out of business.
  • Always maintain a positive attitude!!! People will not do business with someone who has given up, or constantly complains about how bad things are.
  • Monitor your cash flow weekly. Forecast at least 2-4 weeks out so you don’t get caught “out of cash.”
  • Lower overhead and watch your expenses. Have an unbiased third party look for opportunities you may have missed on your own.
  • The number one goal continues to be customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers will do business with you again, and will be open to giving you referrals if asked.
  • Never stop pursuing sales. Networking and contacting prior customers are still your most economical and effective marketing tactics.
  • Then, look for opportunities to expand, or position yourself for expansion when the economy begins to recover:
  • A great opportunity in a down economy is to take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses. If you are in an industry with long-term viability and you have access to capital, look for acquisition opportunities.
  • Look for vertical and horizontal integration possibilities.
  • Focus on existing customers. It is much easier to expand an existing customer than it is to create a new one.
  • Shore up revenue.
  • Grab market share from declining or exiting businesses.
  • Increase sales efforts, acquire failing businesses.
  • If possible, condense the number of products/services offered to those that are either the highest profit, or are strategic to future growth.
  • Improve efficiency
  • Improve and expand relationships with financial backers.
  • Capture management talent that comes on the market.
  • Look for strong strategic partners.
  • Collections – be ever more diligent on cash and collections from your customers. Polite but firm,
  • Customers – your existing customers are key to continued revenue, so nurture them even more than before.
  • Marketing – how can you re-structure your products and services to meet a new market?
  • It is important to see the downturn optimistically, and to actively and curiously see and look for possibilities and opportunities in the market place.
  • Keep your vision.
  • The downturn is to a large part a psychological effect. Take advantage of that. Don’t yourself fall into the trap of making excuses caused by fear, uncertainty, doubt, or laziness. On the contrary, be active, be certain of success and be brave. .
  • Go for it. Grab what others don’t take.
  • Hire or invest now, if you can.
  • Try hard to keep your prices at premium.
  • Make those calls.

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