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Protect Your Business From The Credit Crunch September 26, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Top Tips.
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Here at Liverpool Chamber, we understand the effects the current economic climate is having, especially on smaller businesses. That’s why we uncourage all our members to take full advantage of the various benefits and services we offer. These include:

To further help you beat the credit crunch, we’ve enlisted the help of business coaching guru Bob Evans from Freedom Coaching to put together a series of articles to help protect your business. The articles cover a seven-step programme to create a lean, keen, fighting machine to weather the economic storm. Part one is below.

Is recession upon us, or are we already there? The one sure thing in business is you cannot stand still, whatever the economic climate.

So what can you do to protect your business when the going gets tough?

As the song says – ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

Good strong leadership is the key. It’s a case of battening down the hatches, pulling the sails tight and heading straight for the storm. Fight your way through and you’ll come out stronger than you started.

Not all businesses will suffer in a down-turn, but if your customers are cutting back, how does this affect you?

Like everything, if you plan and act before the crisis, you’ll be in a much better position.Burying your head in the sand won’t help, but many people will do just that. Make sure you take the action required. You don’t have to suffer loss if you act and plan now.

Here’s the first of our seven simple steps to get you started:

Step 1

Carry out a business audit and find out where you are. Look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within your business. Look back over your profit and loss account and balance sheets for the past 12 months and look for trends.

Decide where you want to be in the next five years, and then work back to the next 12 month. Be realistic with your goals, work may be light for the next financial period or two.

Be prepared to manage change, you may need to downsize your business to save costs. The following steps outline the best approach to manage change in your business.

1. Be committed as the leader / manager of the change. If you feel you are not equipped to manage the change, ask yourself these two questions:

  • What do I need to learn?
  • Who can help me?

Alternatively bring in a mentor or consultant to help you.

2. Identify the cause and need for change by analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, commonly known as a SWOT Analysis.

3. Answer the following questions:

  • What do we want?
  • Why are we here?
  • What needs to be done?
  • How will we do it?

4. Create your cultural and operating framework. Identify your values and desirable behaviours and incorporate them into your organisation

5. Align people with purpose, identifying the right person, in the right place, at the right time

6. Manage performance

7. Track Progress

8. Celebrate the success of each day as it happens and strive to make every day a fun day that is better than the last.

Next week, we’ll look at focussing on profit.

Bob Evans, Freedom Coaching

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