Deny the Recession!
Excellent Ways to Deny the Continuous Recession
There was a bumper sticker the other day that said "Refuse to Participate in the Recession."
I have no idea if that driver had a job or was looking for one, but he was obviously electing to make the most of the challenges he faced. He was `fighting` the recession!
Many say the global economy is still in a recession based on the fact that unemployment is still high and getting higher day by day and consumers are continuing to temper their spending habits--two elements that define a recession. However, anyone with the desire to be an entrepreneur has to have the attitude of `our` friend with the bumper sticker.
So how does an entrepreneur succeed in a recession?
1. Become Indispensable
In a tricky economy, it's natural for people to want to protect the security they still have. In the service industry, one way to prove that your product or service is part of the solution is to point out the consequences that could occur if the service was not around. Try "secret shopping" your customers and document the outcomes; then secret shop a business that doesn't use your service or product. If there's an obvious difference, use these stories to sell your business back to your customers. Remember, we are only in business because `our` customers allows us to be!
2. Invest in the Future
Most recessions last only a year or two. Companies that fail to continually invest in business improvements, training and marketing are way behind when the economy recovers. In terms of training, consider how to cross-train your team members while business is slow. It may enable you to perform better later on. Keep your `good` employees and train them to higher standards and you will beat the recession!
3. Seek Out Referrals
Nowadays, many businesses assume there are no sales to be made, so they stop trying and sit on the sidelines. While sales may be harder to come by, make contacts now so they will pay off later. Furthermore, if you're pulling back on your advertising budget, referrals may be your best bet for generating customers. You should also create a program that rewards current customers for referrals. Talk to your customers and provide their needs!
4. Buy Weaker Companies
If you can manage the integration process, a down economy can be a great time to acquire a business. Use the `right` business models and experienced people for this process and you will be successful.
5. Strengthen Your ROI Pricing Offers
Customers often question the cost of a product or service because they cannot always tie it to a result, and that scrutiny only increases in a bad economy. Offer pricing related to specific results. For example, I heard of a PR firm that only charges for placements, not advice, writing or strategy development. This approach enables the agency to charge more for its services, but customers know upfront what they're getting. Talk to your customers and `fit` their needs with your solutions!
6. Be Loyal and Focus on Retention
When the recession is over, your employees will be more likely to stick with you. This may mean eliminating free coffee, for example, but have an honest conversation with your employees, and they will usually help you cut costs even further. Take on board your employees excellent ideas and use the `right` business model to reduce costs and invest in the future!
7. Maintain a Fun Environment
When companies cut out the fun, it can negatively impact employee job performance. If you've sponsored parties at work for years, continue these events. A consistent culture will encourage your staff to provide consistent service to your customers. Work should be fun and entertaining and then you will achieve the `right` results!
8. Celebrate Being Small
Many smaller firms are more nimble than larger firms because they aren't loaded down by multiple management layers and overlapping operating units or debt, so they can make decisions quickly and focus their cash to take advantage of new opportunities. The same business models suit small and large companies as long has you have the right` people on board!
9. Do not Leave Room for Doubt
Competitors will take advantage of any opening, and they will be more aggressive in making promises during the recession, even if it means filling in your silence with a few tales of their own. Do not open doors for them by closing down communications with your customers. Instead, increase the frequency of communications with your customers.
10. Fight the Urge to Give Things Away
If you've been giving products and services away, it will be hard to charge for them again when the recession ends. Remember, if your product or service carries a benefit, it's worth charging for, even during a recession. However, for long-time customers who are having a hard time paying their bills, offer discounts and settlements. Offer this option as a one-time benefit, though, to get things current.
Bonus Tip: Drop Unprofitable Customers
The natural urge is to hang onto every customer, but use the spare time the recession provides to analyze your customer base and find out which ones are the most profitable and which ones are costing you money. Plus, which customers understand the `partnering` concept!
Recessions aren't fun, but they do not have to cripple your business. Smart business owners leverage recessions rather than lament them.
`How to survive in this competitive world`
Can you afford to Gamble with your Financial and Business Future?
The Market Pressures
Business life is getting tougher all the time. Competitive survival needs to be fought for and the battle for customer favour is never ending. Market liberalisation and globalisation have opened the 'gates' for many new competitors, and customers are spoilt and demanding.
Companies and individuals expect better service, better products, better quality, and better prices. At the same time companies need to deliver shareholder/investors value in the form of profits and share/investor growth. Without these two ingredients the world stops developing!
Two aspects dominate business life:
* Customer value
* Shareholder/Investor value
Tips to alleviate the pain
* Keep your finger on the pulse - monitor Key Performance Indicators
* Change from reactive to proactive reporting and communication
* Ensure all costs are controlled with remote authorisation of transactions
* Drive efficiency and cut costs with stock forecasting
You will win and be successful with a positive attitude and excellent solutions!
New publication to help you-`Recession-Busting Solutions`- check out http://www.cavendish-mr.org.uk for comprehensive details.
This is your recession survival plan. Planning ahead is doubly difficult in the current economic climate so please take on board the information we share with you in the article. So now you can click on to help fight the threat of recession.
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Note: About the Author Colin Thompson
Colin is a former successful Managing Director of Transactional/Print Manufacturing Plants, Print Management/Workflow Solutions companies and other organisations, former Group Chairman of the Academy for Chief Executives and Non-Executive Director, helping companies raise their `bottom-line` and `increase cash flow`. Plus, helping individuals to be successful in business and life in general. Author of several publications, research reports, guides, business and educational models on CD-ROM's/Software and over 400 articles published on business and educational subjects worldwide. International Speaker and Visiting University Professor.
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The Central Banker Problems!
Deny the Recession!