Don't let the recession bite your bum

Newsletter 5 February 2009

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Recession. It’s no longer just bad news, it’s an ‘in your face’ reality, so how do you emerge with a stronger more successful business?

Maybe you’re too young to remember the last one and its effect on business (anyone under 35-ish).  Maybe, for those a little older, you’ve burnt it from your memory.

However, I can remember it well - the last recession really bit my bum - so here’s my ‘pragmatic wisdom’ reinforced by some ‘up to the minute’ research that should see you, and me, ride out this year’s roller coaster of business life.

Things you could get wrong:

  1. Don’t cut your prices - you need to maintain income and profitability – only cut prices for redundant stock.
  2. Don’t cut you marketing budget  – you need more clients not less - believe it or not a recession is a great time to grow you market share.
  3. Don’t expand your business on credit – banks can be bastards - are you offering credit to new, unknown clients.
  4. Don’t bury your head in the sand – always be proactive to your business problems.
  5. Expand your sales and client list – but make sure you’re going to get paid on time.

So, how buoyant are your sales? Does finding new business feel like you’re looking through the wrong end of a telescope?

Give me one minute to turn the telescope around for you and your business.


How else can I help you ride out this recession?

Things you should do:

  1. Know how much liquid cash your business has - always.
  2. Know how much cash your business needs – today, tomorrow, next week and next month.
  3. Look carefully at your expenses – do you really need that new widget – every expense must produce a prompt positive return?
  4. Reduce capacity where possible – should this be permanent or just ‘mothballing’?
  5. Look at outsourcing production or services - but be careful of exporting them – it could be terminal PR.
  6. Look after your best clients – the ones that produce positive cash flow – the ones that pay on time!
  7. Look at profitability – reduce or cancel, your high cost/low margin services or products.
  8. Look at debt like a ‘real’ banker should – are you extending credit to high risk businesses?
  9. Try to collect money owed to you quickly – get creative with incentives for prompt payment.
  10. Off load surplus assets and stock – be realistic about their current value.
  11. Keep stock to a minimum – let your suppliers carry the risk.
  12. Beware of customers switching suppliers – have they used up their credit elsewhere?

I made an absolute arse of the last recession but surviving a recession isn’t rocket science – it’s just good business practice, a bit of luck and, of course, video email marketing (unavailable in the early 90’s).

Reply to this email and I’ll call you back and answer any questions you have about your own One Minute Video Email.


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Alan Howarth - happy working on the Web & in the Real World

Alan Howarth: Corporate Photographer, Corporate Video Producer and Corporate Writer based near Blackpool, Preston & Lancaster, Lancashire in the North West of the UK, I frequently work in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham and I spend 50% of my time working in London. within the M25, I travel throughout the UK and often work in mainland Europe, with work published throughout the world. I'll go anywhere - except war zones.

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