Nuclear Winter and Surviving This Recession sounds exactly like the advice that most companies need given the gloomy situation all around. This is a time for making sure that you are running the best business possible.
As the recession starts to pummel Silicon Valley and as layoffs pile up, organizations are saying, ‘what is the absolute nuclear winter? Let’s plan for that.’ What you’re seeing now are organizations putting those plans into reality.
That may involve rethinking your business model. That is exactly what Kevin Kelly, CEO of executive search giant Heidrick & Struggles has done as explained in a Business Week article:
Over the next five years, Heidrick & Struggles will change its strategy dramatically. While executive search is currently more than 95% of Heidrick’s business, search will shrink to 50%. Leadership advisory services will expand to roughly 40%, and developing new technology tools for consultants and clients will become the remaining 10%.
A number of people are coming out with checklists and interestingly that business model revision is at number one in a Small Business checklist from Los Angeles. Here are the Top 10 survival tips they recommend.
- Revising the Business Model
- Reducing Employees or Work Hours
- Cash Flow Issues
- Efficiency and Reducing Bills
- Taking the Offense by Marketing
- Customer Service and Incentive Discounts
- Partnerships and Alliances
- Seeking Professional Advice
- Watching Key Indicators
- Staying Healthy and Positive
There are some similarities with another list that the BBC put out only a month or two back on How small firms can survive recession.
- Don’t panic. Get the facts
- Work out where you can make savings.
- Are you spending on things that don’t make a real difference
- You can save money with energy efficiency measures and reusing and recycling.
- Maximise your productivity.
- Know who your competitors are and what they’re up to.
- Cutting prices isn’t the only way to increase demand. Can you make your product more attractive without a lot of extra cost?
- Don’t forget that not everyone will spend less and those who do may cut back on other products and buy yours instead.
- If you’re lucky enough to be able to invest, get ahead of the game for the upturn.
- You do have to make sure you get paid on time or your cash flow will suffer
- Is there as much money in the bank as there should be?
- Stop using expensive advisers and use the free services available
It is interesting that companies are encouraged to see how they can beef up their services to clients so as not to lose revenues. If the competition in fact is not doing this then this creates an opportunity for a real competitive advantage
Part of this thinking involves customer service and according to a survey from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) the Recession is ‘boosting customer service levels’.
With consumers seeking value-for-money products and services, companies are making greater efforts to impress their customers, keep them happy and prevent them slipping into the clutches of competitors. With satisfied customers much more likely to return and remain loyal, good customer service is vital to survive the recession
It is essential to stay on top of all these issues. There is a good deal of work involved in these checklists. However stay optimistic and perhaps this may be the time when you can steal a march on your competition..