What Should I Be Doing in Tougher Economic Times?

 

There seems to be a continuing “gloom of negativity” around the business world, and it is now some 5 years post the on-set of the GFC of 2008!

  •  The mining boom is a recent memory.
  • Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Philip Lowe, recently observed that non-mining investment is at lows not seen since the recessions of the 1990’s.
  • RBA Governor, Glenn Stevens, recently spoke of lessening political uncertainty, but then warned that, “the available information suggests that broader intentions in the business community remain subdued”.

The balance to this ‘doom and gloom’ is offered again by Deputy Governor Lowe, who offered his opinion that in the current low interest rate environment, and emerging business confidence, that non-mining investment should start to improve.

Yet, the Australian stock market, recently closed at 5 year highs!  What are all of these economic indicators telling us?? Are you confused yet??

In reply, I offer the time honoured “economic clock” image for your own analysis, as like many, I am unsure (albeit optimistic) of the near future!

 

Actions

Predictions are one thing, but what actions should we adopt as small & medium business owners in these uncertain times?
This is one question I am confident in answering for you!

 

The answer is:  BE PROACTIVE!

 

1. BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

Use any possible lull in demand to investigate and embrace technological advancement.  This is a strategy relevant in any economic environment, but I believe more so now.

The rate of change in computerized technology, and in particular, cloud based software applications continues to amaze.

Whilst software applications, cloud based or otherwise, are impressive, the business or human processes to adopt these technological advancements is really the key.

Take the opportunity to improve your processes and business!

 

2. ADOPT NEW AND INNOVATIVE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES.

Your ability to market your business in this rapidly changing environment of social media is only limited to your imagination!  Again the rate of change in this industry is phenomenal, and as SME’s, we need to “get in the swim” or risk falling  well behind the pack.

Even if the Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram and other similar communication channels aren’t for you, or even for your customers, they soon will be!  This change is inevitable in all businesses.

Start small, learn the lingo, experiment, it’s not expensive!

What will be expensive is if you miss the boat with your customers and your competitors take the lead and opportunity from you.

 

3. INVESTIGATE YOUR COMPETITORS….. MARKET RESEARCH!

Make sure you know what your competitors are up to.  Copy them if you need to!  Again, stay in tune with industry trends of best practice, technology, marketing, customer’s satisfaction and communication.

Don’t let the malaise of the perceived economic conditions be an excuse for you to stop “working on your business”!!

Referring back to the prevailing economic times; is it time to look to make an offer to purchase or merge with your competitors?

Grow market share, create economies of scale, consider good business processes and make them better?  Be lateral and have a look, …. It can’t hurt to look!

In summary, yes, the times are uncertain, but the one constant across all businesses, and in all economic times is that energy, innovation and enhancement is a necessity!

Now is the time to act.

economic_clock.png

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