Ben Horowitz’s book on building business takes on tough topics
FIVE WAYS TO RIDE OUT A RECESSION
Suzanne Liu Duddek, proprietor of accountancy firm S Liu & Co, has gained many insights on prevailing in hard times from her SME and start-up clients. She reveals her top five.
Plants seeds “When orders dry up, instead of pitching to companies who temporarily can’t afford your services, offer to meet former and potential clients to talk about their current problems and planning, with no strings attached. When their fortunes turn around, chances are they will get back to you.”
Jump on opportunities “When a competitor goes out of business, immediately target their client-base proactively, by phone and e-mail, explaining that you can provide them with same the excellent products and services that they were previously receiving. But don’t disparage the defunct competitor – that creates an unfavourable impression.”
Add, don’t subtract “When times get tough, one way to stay afloat is to increase and add ‘value’ to your goods and services, rather than offering profit-eroding discounts and price reductions.”
Steer the traffic your way “On the flipside, charge less for particularly popular products and services than a larger rival, thereby both beating them on price and also strategically positioning yourself to reveal other competitive advantages you may enjoy.”
Know your people “Payroll is often the biggest cost a business owner has, so ensuring that this money is well spent is crucial. It’s a good idea to conduct a thorough review of staff – both when a problem arises, as well as during the normal course of business – to ensure the best-suited individuals are in the right places, and doing their jobs effectively.”