Despite the media hype, there are companies that are not only surviving the recession, but are actually thriving. So here are the 10 steps that can help to not just ‘recession proof’ your business, but help it to flourish.
1. First of all, don’t let fear hold you back. This is fundamental, since the recession and its hold on the economy can generate fear and anxiety, but fear can become disabling if it is left to fester; so manage your fear instead of it managing you!
2. Become more efficient. Look at all aspects of your business and see where there is waste and how it can be reduced. All companies have waste, so don’t assume that you are as efficient as possible. Seek out the waste and then get rid of it.
3. Renegotiate, renegotiate, renegotiate! Whatever contracts or deals you have in place, be sure to renegotiate so that you can obtain a better deal. This may not save a fortune, but it will save some money or get you a better return.
4. Analyse market opportunities. In order to flourish you will probably need to look at securing new markets. This is important because that is exactly what your competitors will be doing! So get in before them and try to see what new markets are potentially available.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan. Some of the steps listed here, involve new markets, products and so on. But this has to be done on a strategic level as opposed to doing it piecemeal, so plan for new markets and products. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail…….
6. Diversify. In addition to securing new markets you need to think about diversifying in order to ensure that you can bring new products to market. In addition to the new markets, diversification will lead to a more robust business that does not have all its eggs placed in the same basket. This will help you to flourish! Some countries have survived the recession better than others, so is there some new product or service that you can export to them.
7. Think about China! Whilst cheap Chinese exports are often viewed as being a cause of decline for British businesses, there is another way of viewing China. It has never been so easy to launch new products and have them cheaply manufactured, so that they can be exported on a global level or just within the UK.
8. Work with your staff! Often there is a tendency to feel that you know your business best and that you are the one person who can not only save your company, but can help it grow. But in reality the people who work within your company not only the business but they are able to look at things in a different light, so they can help you to see things that perhaps are difficult for you to spot!
9. Keep staff informed. Staff who are scared will not be as productive as staff who feel secure and confident that together your business will grow. When they are productive, they will embrace the changes that you will be forced to implement.
10. Finally make unpalatable as this may seem, you need to keep your staff with you, but it is time to get rid of the weakest links in the chain. No business will thrive if it has staff who are not fully committed or professional. So you cannot carry any dead wood and once you have dispensed with those staff who do not contribute fully to your team, then you can consolidate and allow your business to flourish and thrive!

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