5 tips for surviving tough times

Here are five tips we are giving to everyone:

1. Heads up – keep your eyes on the world around you and have a ‘radar screen’ to help you watch for early warning signals that tell you what’s changing and which way things are headed. This could include  trusted people, people who seem spot things early, bellwether sectors / organizations and journalists who seem to be ahead of the curve. For me cab drivers are a good sign of when things are picking up and heavy goods equipment firms tend to provide an early sign of falling confidence eroding – also when their sector picks up – you pretty much know real confidence is back in their customer markets.

2. Ditch the cold or lukewarm prospects who haven’t bought in the good times – they definitely won’t in the tough times – focus all your energies on existing customers and the hottest prospects, use the time saved on the former to really add value to the customers and prospects who will be vital to you.

3. Secure long term deals wherever you can – discount if you have to – provide yourselves with a cushion of guaranteed income.

4. Ask yourselves – are we magnetic – how much of our business comes through our efforts and how much comes in unsolicited because people have heard about us and want to do business with us. How can we increase magnetism – focus on serving current customers better, provide helpful comments and inputs to social network and online discussions and write useful added value articles in whatever media outlets are relevant for your sector.

5. Motivate. Your people need to be inspired to outperform in tough times – energy is infectious. Training and motivation can be done at low or no cost by inviting aspiring trainers to speak for free and use you as a test bed, ask customers and suppliers to come and talk about what’s going on for them and encourage staff to do volunteering work – all of which helps stimulate, provide new ideas and keep energy levels high.

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