What Businesses Are Focusing On To Beat The Recession

Three glasses of port

We have been collecting lists of what businesses should be doing in a recession. Of the 20 we have seen we have ranked them in popularity and listed them below:

1. Look after your existing customers
2. Cash is critical
3. Stop unnecessary expenditure
4. Turn off lights/computers
5. Try to sell more
6. Get paid quicker
7. Don’t discount if you can help it
8. Don’t become dispirited
9. Stay focused
10. There are opportunities in a recession if you look for them
11. Eat more chocolate*
*we made this one up

The commonality demonstrates how little is practically possible that will make a big difference and, on the basis that every business will be doing this, we end up with a zero sum game. All businesses are optimised and we are all running things more efficiently.

What has become more interesting is the ‘post first crunch’ approaches that organisations are adopting in living with the current situation.

‘We are still here, we have tried to put the basics in place, what do we do now?’

Below we summarise some the emerging approaches:

    • Positive: The green shoots are visible; if you look really hard you can see them. Next month, quarter, year will be better. Just keep going.
    • Negative: It’s really ****. We will be bust in a matter of months.
    • Flip-flop: Depending on the figures, forecasts, management mood, the view swings between 1 and 2. Working in this environment is worse than with pure 1 or pure 2.
    • Coping: A more considered version of 1. We are here, the market is tough, lets get on with things as best we can. Needs a certain maturity of understanding to realise this undramatic approach isn’t the same as complacency.
    • Complacency: We’re doing fine; carry on as before.
    • Headless Chicken: Let’s do more, something, anything we must act, NOW, don’t panic, DON’T PANIC!!
    • Trojan Horse: Let’s use the current situation as the motivation to radically change things.
    • Amnesty: We should have done a lot of things before the recession hit; we didn’t. What were they? No blame, no finger pointing, let’s have a candid debate.
    • Displacement: Every problem we have is due to external factors. Throw everything into the recession skip.
  • Paralysis: This could be very worrying; inertia is a classic stress response, worthy of real investigation and challenge.

Your organisation’s response?