Recessive Economy: Tumultuous Times

The economic turmoil that’s affecting the U.S. isn’t here yet, but, because we’re so integrated today, every business in North America and beyond will be affected by the new economic climate blowing out of the States. But in chaos there are always opportunities. And if you’re quick, smart and brave enough, you can take advantage of them. For example, to reduce their own risks, potential customers or prospects will naturally cling to a solid company that knows what it does, how it does it, and what value it creates. So all businesses today should hop to it in two critical areas. Financial self-determination. Plan for increased costs and reduced availability of credit. Start being creative in terms of financing. There is still money around, but often private or available only to those with solid businesses. Try: • Self-funding as much as possible. More “skin in the game” makes you more attractive to financiers. • Leveraging suppliers. Instead of the usual relationship, look at alliances or quid-pro-quos. • Developing clear value messages for customers, partners, and investors. • Developing a detailed long-term budget. And sticking to it. • Using small-scale revolving credit, which is still available to consumers and businesses with cash flow. Strategic Defense. Extreme targeting has been a strategy that’s been widely ignored by many companies that have been trying to grow quickly. However, targeting will put you on solid ground for the future when this turmoil ends. Not everybody has been hurt, and so some excellent market opportunities exist. Try: • Finding the winners/survivors. When fear rules, customer groups of consumers or businesses flee for cover. Others recognize it as a time for opportunistic expansion. Look for the latter and avoid the former. • Curing the own-it-all syndrome. The edifice complex that besets so many businesses should be mercifully put to sleep. Strip down to the essentials and outsource everything else. Run a very tight ship. • Finding top talent. When times get ugly, companies contract and advancement opportunities are snatched away from their top employees. Offer them interesting opportunities and they might jump.