With 2012 finally here both the new business year and how it will pan out are hot topics. Whether you’re an established business like us, (we’ve started to invest in eye-cream…) or a recently founded venture we’ve been looking back at 2011 and discussing the essential practices any business should follow to get through a recession.
1| Outsource to stay flexible.
Everything from staff to office space can be outsourced on a flexible basis so you don’t have to commit to on-going costs in times of uncertainty. Websites such as blurgroup.co.uk help you outsource marketing activities and Peopleperhour.com help with staff from a range of skill sets at all levels. Flexible office providers can also help you scale with workload and concentrate on your business.
2| Go to Macau on a business trip. Use the credit card.
3 | Maintain low Operating Gearing.
That is, to keep as many of your costs variable as possible, try to avoid committing to long term contracts that tie you in to paying a fixed amount every month so that if your income drops you’re not stuck with high committed costs. Outsourcing can be one way to achieve this.
4| Monitor Cashflow …tightly.
Cash is King – forecast your Cashflow prudently. Understand your customers so that you know about any potential problems with payment before they arise. Stay on top of debt. Focus on detail, small amounts add up.
5| Eat more chocolate. It will make you feel better.
6| Never stop moving – you can’t stand still.
Be prepared to adjust your product and pricing to the Market. Even if you’ve put together a successful formula in the past, now may be the time to review how you are doing things and understand how the wants/needs of your customers may have changed. It may also be the time to look further afield for business or at different ends of the market. Understanding your customer is always key.
7 | Have a vision that everyone can buy into, a common goal.
8| Surround yourself with people who are great at their job and trust them to do what they do best.
Success lies in having a great team with varied strengths, weaknesses and personalities. If the common denominator is hard work and a passion for the company then everything else falls into place.
Looking forward to the challenges of 2012!
Happy New Year from all at The Office Group.