What to do in a recession – some thoughts

So South Africa is officially in a recession! I am not sure that we really needed the economists to tell us this but the announcement does confirm many people’s suspicions.

What to do in a recession!

I wrote yesterday about using this ‘pause’ as an opportunity to re-imaging and renew our personal, team and business futures. I have provided some very practical things to do to ‘walk through’ the process of re-imagining – take a look and take some of those steps.

But what else can we do to survive, and thrive, during this difficult time – here are a few suggestions.

Don’t Panic!

Take a deep breath. Step back and survey everything. Think deeply – very deeply. Lift up your head and look forward.

Really (really) understand your true value!

From the outside-in and not just from the inside-out. From the perspective of your clients, your employees, your suppliers, your other stakeholders. Identifying your true value can unlock great opportunities.

Re-negotiate in both directions!

A recession hits everyone. We are all in the same boat. Talk to those who you depend on and those who depend on you. You can (seriously) build relationships in tough times.

Move early – not late.

The gun has already gone. Move NOW to act. Write a list – do it!

Cut to the core.

This has to do with really understanding your value (as above) – but more importantly using this as a tool to identify where you do not add value – and someone else can do it better than you. Keep hold of the centre (where you true value lies) and give away (i.e. outsource) the periphery. Again this can build great relationships.

Be open and transparent with your people.

What a massive opportunity to bring your people closer. Ask them for ideas, and keep asking them for ideas – test and try these ideas out. You may be surprised.

Innovate your way forward.

As we are taught when driving a car to ‘accelerate’ into the curve and ‘accelerate’ our way out of danger now is not the time to be climbing on the brakes of our businesses. It is time to make some quick, but never panic motivated, adjustments (like some of those mentioned above) to realign and re-position the business for the new direction and road ahead. This road will be different from the one behind – the future is always ‘foreign territory’!

Ask for help!

There are loads and loads of people able and willing and ready to help you. The ones that offer real value do cost something (you do get what you pay for) but most I know are willing to talk and we are all in the same boat.

Last thoughts

I trust that these few ideas can strengthen your resolve and give you hope going forward.
As Winston Churchill said at a school prize giving where he was asked to provide some advice for the school leavers, ‘Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up’ (yes, he said never 7 times – certainly some sage advice for today)!
Contact me to take this conversation further – I am always willing to talk.

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