Be a winning business in challenging times

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the face of an economic picture that seems bleak, here’s a bit of good news. If you’re proactive and practical, not only can your business survive this downturn, but you could also come out of it stronger than before.

It might sound unreasonable to expect a business to do anything more than scrape through but research shows that downturns create opportunities. In the last downturn, business analysts saw 20% of market-leading companies fall to the bottom, and 24% of businesses near the bottom leap to the top!

What did those winning businesses have in common? Essentially, it boils down to three key ingredients – Cash, Customers and Confidence.

Cash: budget and forecast so you can understand your revenue peaks and troughs, and prepare for your financial obligations, such as tax. Scrutinise costs. Chase debtors rigorously.

Customers: recognise and reward your best customers. Ask for referrals. Contact lapsed customers. Actively look for new customers. Use every communication as a chance to sell.

Confidence: positivity attracts! Boldly reassess how you do things – look for ways to improve and grow. Focus on your core business. Know what customers value, and deliver on it every time. Think laterally about opportunities and go for them.