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  • Five ways to ensure your business not only survives but flourishes in a recession

    24th January 2012 in finance

    Five easy and effective ways to ensure your business not only survives but flourishes in the current economic climate.

    There is no doubt that we have all experienced one of the worst recessions in living memory. It is equally true that SMEs have probably been hit harder than most. Many SMEs are facing  unsympathetic bankers, with margins being squeezed by both suppliers and customers. Many feel that they have to work twice as hard just to stand still!

    Of course you can just sit back and hope to ride out the storm, or you could realise that there are some simple steps and changes in attitude that can help turn some of the negatives into positives:-

    1.    Anyone who says “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, should be avoided at all costs!
    Adapting, improving and being pro-active are what is needed. A fresh focus on target markets, supplier and customer relations and operating systems can, at minimal cost, achieve quick and positive results.

    2.    Markets may shrink but your share could increase.
    Focus on the edge you have over your competition. If none exists, then seek out and develop whatever it is that makes your business stand out from the crowd. Be better, quicker, and more competitive. Above all, make sure your target market knows about it.

    3.    Your customers are not only there when they place an order with you.
    Keeping existing and potential customers “warm” is one of the most effective and least costly steps you can take. Just because a customer hasn’t placed an order with you recently is no reason not to call them to see how they are fairing, find what their requirements are and, at the same time reminding them of what you have to offer and what makes you better than the competition..

    4.    Are there other markets you should be exploring?
    Now is not the time to be reactive (it never is!). Perhaps your business has taken you in one direction. Now is the time to take control and explore other avenues. Think laterally, be inventive, and be bold. If you don’t, you can bet that your competitors will.

    5.    Review all of your systems and procedures
    Regardless of the size and nature of any business a thorough and regular review of systems and procedures will almost certainly result in increased efficiency and cost savings. As an example, it may make sense to use an external bookkeeper rather than use your accountants. Very often this will result in a net saving on overall accountancy fees. Proper systems will also ensure that you are up to date and comply with all regulatory issues. You should aim to maximise your valuable time doing business rather than running a business.

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