Posted by: Vikas Sahni | December 11, 2010

Avoiding the Recession

I was invited to speak to the Dundalk/Newry Business Club last week about avoiding the recession, and so this post…

Acknowledge the Recession, and decide not to participate.  After that, read on…

The new mantras to beat the slowdown are:

  1. Core Competency – Stick to what you do best, do not branch out into unrelated areas, do not spread yourself thin
  2. Must Have Product / Service – people are being cautious, are afraid to spend.  So make sure that whatever product or service you are offering is something people need.  The days of spending on optionals and luxuries will be back, but it may be a long time…and you need to pay bills every month…
  3. Customer Return on Investment – make sure that your customers can clearly see how they will get their money back.  If they can see the RoI, they will spend.  Most businesses (except building/construction) still have funds, but are not willing to spend.  If you can demonstrate that paying you a dollar today will give them / save them two dollars tomorrow, you will get the order!
  4. Value for Money – if it takes100 to produce a good or service, do not charge 1000…order of magnitude margins are a thing of the past…unless you have something that will reverse aging…
  5. Sales Focus – sell, sell, sell…you may have a must have offering that gives a return within a month and costs very little…but if the prospecitve buyers do not hear about it, there are plenty of other people out to get the same spending money…

and the things to watch out for are:

  1. Is there an elephant in your space? A big player can crush you without even noticing…someone I knew spent a year developing a service he was going to offer to the big sellers on eBay…one day eBay announced new features including this services…idea of the year became worthless…
  2. Are you ahead of the pack?  Is there a market?  Are people ready to buy?  Creating an entirely new market was tough even in the boom days, and in these times…
  3. Can anyone catch up quickly?  There are companies who specialise in being second – you do the R&D, create market awareness, and these guys come along with a better, cheaper product by cloning and improving your offering…
  4. Have you done your homework?  Search the web, ask friends and colleagues…a lot of people are trying to float new ventures these days…and you are not unique…
  5. Will people pay???  The crunch!  Do not give away free samples….you may discover too late that people are not willing to pay…
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