Company Partners News

Growing business in an age of uncertainty.

28th Apr 2008

Businesses can do more than just survive in a time of economic uncertainty, Company Partners asked some of it's Entrepreneurs what they are doing to continue to grow.

Nearly all were optimistic and were putting in place the necessary actions to position themselves for growth. Below we give eight suggestions from our members that will better prepare your business for any eventuality and to allow it to grow, even in a time of uncertainty:

  1. Ensure costs are minimum, install efficiencies
  2. Let's make it clear, this isn't sacking half the staff. The old adage is right – people are your greatest assets. The general uncertainty will make them uneasy just like your customers, so take time to support them and enthuse them with purpose.

    Look to reduce costs where it is sensible to do so, make sure everyone is committed to doing their bit for saving costs at this time. A review of costs may throw up areas that should have been trimmed in any case. Take the chance to see where there are efficiencies that should be put in place.

  3. Market when others stop
  4. At first glance this seems to fly in the face of our first point, but think about it. Others will be reducing their marketing spend and therefore your efforts will be more visible.

    Not only can you gain new business now, you can establish yourself to soar as the economy picks up. Sellers of advertising, PR companies and exhibitions will all be hungry for business and you can drive some great deals.

  5. Address customers nervousness about spending
  6. Uncertainty means customers are more than ever cautious about spending and when they do it must be the right decision. What can you do to reassure them?

    A money-back guarantee, extended payment, or more effort to instill real confidence in your products or services, for instance, will ease their concerns and make placing their order more likely.

  7. Look for a bargain acquisition / be opportunistic
  8. Many of our Entrepreneurs felt that there were possibilities opening up to join forces with, or take over other companies while the market conditions are uncertain. This may be because other owners are looking to cash-out their business, or are willing to sell off parts that are not seen as being core to the main business.

  9. Test your own business model, re-convince yourself of it's worth
  10. How long has it been since you sat back and looked afresh at what you do, how you charge for it and how it is delivered? Now is a good time. There may be areas that are well over-due for a change and by re-convincing yourself of it's worth you can be positive with your customers.

  11. Bring in a mentor to help re-analyse and renew the energies of your business
  12. This is one of the biggest growth areas for our Entrepreneurs and can add value quickly. There are experienced business people who have done it all before and are willing to help, the lessons they have learned can set you onto a fast track. You will also find it helpful to bounce ideas of a independent person who will be able to give objective feedback.

  13. Watch for clients not paying as quickly as before
  14. With smaller size customers it could be a sign of business distress and you should consider how much is at risk should they not be in a position to carry on. See if they will talk about the situation, you may get yourself in a better position for being paid before others.

    With larger companies it is an old trick for their account departments to simply slow down payments when ever they can, be professional but persistent in dealing with them.

  15. Keep the faith, remain strong and optimistic
  16. If you have managed your cash-flow, been vigilant in your dealings with others, maintained your market presence and re-convinced yourself of the worth of your business model you are in a strong position, you are entitled to be optimistic.

    Feeling good about your business makes working enjoyable, but more importantly when we are optimistic we get on and make things happen.


Lawrence Gilbert