How Businesses Can Survive The Recession

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.

  1. Revising the Business Model
  2. Reducing Employees or Work Hours
  3. Cash Flow Issues
  4. Efficiency and Reducing Bills
  5. Taking the Offense by Marketing
  6. Customer Service and Incentive Discounts
  7. Partnerships and Alliances
  8. Seeking Professional Advice
  9. Watching Key Indicators
  10. 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.

  1. Don’t panic.  Get the facts
  2. Work out where you can make savings.
  3. Are you spending on things that don’t make a real difference
  4. You can save money with energy efficiency measures and reusing and recycling.
  5. Maximise your productivity.
  6. Know who your competitors are and what they’re up to.
  7. Cutting prices isn’t the only way to increase demand. Can you make your product more attractive without a lot of extra cost?
  8. Don’t forget that not everyone will spend less and those who do may cut back on other products and buy yours instead.
  9. If you’re lucky enough to be able to invest, get ahead of the game for the upturn.
  10. You do have to make sure you get paid on time or your cash flow will suffer
  11. Is there as much money in the bank as there should be?
  12. 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..

13 thoughts on “How Businesses Can Survive The Recession”

  1. The global financial crisis makes everyone wary even the multinational companies. It is the time to cinch everything. Survival and staying on the top is the game played by most the businesses. I like the list you presented on your post, very practical and reasonable.

  2. Tightening one’s belt is still the best way to survive recession. We’re not sure how long it will last, but it would be better if we’re prepared for whatever worse thing that will come our way. same thing with handilng businesses. Owners should not be complacent and should act accordingly to save their businesses. This article listed some of the things that a business owner can do to survive recession.

  3. Thanks for the checklist. Everybody, not only businesses, needs this to survive these difficult times. But consumers will benefit since businesses will give their best service and will try their best to improve their products to stay competitive. It will be a survival of the fittest.

  4. I’ve always held a belief we will go back to bartering and selling our skills at some point in the future and money will become a thing of the past, there has to be something better to life than always worrying about money.

    I think a lot of businesses have shot themselves in their feet, your business is its employees, look after them and they will look after you, after all they are your ambassadors!

  5. It’s not only about ‘surviving the recession’ – it’s about ensuring you are appropriately positioned for the recovery too.

    Scraping through these slightly tougher times by cutting back, cutting back, cutting back might get you out the other side – but then what? You’ve no cash reserves, no budget left for marketing – and I’ll guarantee that at least one of your competitors has done the opposite.

    I believe that aggressive marketing and the ability to ‘surf’ the wind of change in this climate are two essential attributes for any company that hopes to not just survive, but prosper in the aftermath.

  6. I think another way would be to make your mark in the market, leave a positive impression on your customers so that they will continue to patronize you. Continue to provide quality service, and don’t just treat the business as a means of making money, but as provider of good quality service.

  7. The most important thing here is to stay calm (#1 on BBC’s list). Panic never helps and preemptive layoffs or salary cuts can really damage the company’s image. I guess #12 is also a valid point – businesses spend so much money on unnecessary advisors and other people who basically “think for you” it’s crazy. People should start relying on themselves – this will not only help them survive the recession but can also be very useful later as it lets you cut costs without sacrificing too much.

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