I finish up today my 3 weeks here in the USA. I ve been attending 10 days of extremely intense training, and two conferences in two different states. I ve been here while the US economy takes a major nose dive. The Australian economy whilst currently not affected as much as the US economy is non the less affected. I fly home tonight to an uncertain future. In my personal life, there is turmoil. In the business world it looks like a global financial crash is happening. The Aussie dollar has dropped from a high of .98 USD a month or so back to a current of .64 USD which makes the trip more expensive still. I feel a little sad though as given the combination of all of the above, for the first time in many years, I am unsure of when I will be back over here in the USA and get to see all my friends and learn all the things that I learn from them.
Part of this is a thought process that I m going through is to think about how will my business survive in tighter economic circumstances. What can I do to improve the services and offerings to my clients? What can I do to maximise my potential sales? My clients will I m sure go through tighter credit control. I expect customers to be slower in paying and that will affect my ability to pay suppliers. Likewise I expect suppliers to become tighter on their credit control. These things will all affect how I do business moving forwards.
On the flip side, we need to consider the other side of the profit equation. What can I do to reduce expenses? How can I reorganise things to work more efficiently? How can I ensure that I retain good staff during these rough times so that we can continue to build on the vision for the business?
Ok I ve asked the questions, now the challenge is out there for you too. What will you be doing to ensure that your business can weather this storm? What tips or tricks do you have that you are willing to share so that others can benefit? Feel free to comment on this post so that others can benefit from the joint knowledge of the community. I truly feel that now more than ever the world wide SMB community needs to pull together and support each other so that we can all be in business tomorrow.
Henry Craven says
Perhaps folks should have attended the Red ocean – Blue Ocean Strategies presentation I did at SMB Nation – I provided strategy tools to help address this.
David Jolley says
It is a time of great concern, not only for us here in the US, but worldwide as well. While it has been wonderful that eveyone’s economy has become more “global” in recent years, the downside is that downturns and crisis become global as well.
Of course, there are always those who prosper during such downturns. I’m on a mission to find out how they do it.
As for myself, I will be working more closely with clients, and try and find ways to assist them in cutting costs and increasing their productivity through better use of technology. I don’t think the time has come yet to panic; rather, I think the time has come to forge closer relationships with customers and clients to be able to assist them in weathering this storm. If I become their ally during this tough period, rather than just another vendor/creditor, then it is entirely possible that once the strom is over i will have gained a lifetime Client/friend.
I do not know exactly how I will acomplish this, but I am trying to be hopeful and optimistic, and am looking for a way to GROW and BENEFIT my business throw this crisis.
Bob Muir says
I think that finding employees will be the least of your worries. In that area, the concern will be unemployed techs running around bottom feeding so they can pay the mortgage and feed their families. Some of your clients and prospects may be tempted to sign up with one of these guys as an expense reduction on their part. Be ready with some information showing why they may save some dollars, but risk their entire business by doing so.
Other than using Amex for purchases, (that $1,000 cash rebate check at the end of the year is sure nice), I don’t use credit to run my business. If your own business is relient on credit to operate, you may be in trouble very shortly. Reduce your exposure to credit as soon as you can and stay on top of receivables and project schedules.
Don’t recommend upgrades to your clients unless you can make a compelling argument that the upgrade will definitely have an effect on their bottom line. If an upgrade is best, then use Microsoft Financing to its fullest if the client isn’t operating on cash. MSF will ensure the client gets their equipment and software quickly and that you get paid immediately.