When Business Slows Down – The Ten Fundamentals

When business slows down remember these ten timeless fundamentals:


  1. Cash is king, not profit. Obsess about tracking the amount of available cash.
  2. Chase debtors, invoice correctly. Pay your own bills on time, not early.
  3. If possible sell underperforming assets, write off old stock, turn it into cash.
  4. Losing customers is a disaster. Develop customer retention strategies. Stay close to your best customers.
  5. Develop aggressive investment appraisal analysis. Any expenditure must do better than the net effect of the money not being spent and going straight to the bottom line.
  6. Before you make people redundant, look to be more creative; hiring and pay freezes, salary reductions, job shares etc. Morale is critical, because people deliver service and quality. Showing that you are trying everything will be noticed.
  7. Be careful about cutting small but significant hygiene factors like free tea and coffee. Better to cut heavy expenses, like business class travel except long haul. Even though it might be a ‘skinny version’ still hold a Christmas party.
  8.  Harvest every enquiry or lead, follow them up with gusto.
  9.   Over communicate, keep people informed, try to take as consistent a tone as possible.
  10. Remember one of the most relevant leadership definitions: Grace Under Pressure, people look to senior people for clues as to the business’ real position.