The global recession is having an impact on most businesses and non-profit organisations.

 When I use the word impact, I’m not necessarily meaning negative impact. However for many, the effect is negative, for some it’s profoundly negative.

 The purpose of this article can be described in one word. The word is CONTROL. It’s about putting you in control, or expanding your scope of control.

 Straight away, I know I will have triggered scepticism in many of my readers. So if you are sceptical, that’s fine. But please try and have a slightly open mind for just three minutes.

My proposition to you
Whether the current economic climate is impacting you positively or negatively, being in control has got to be a desirable situation.

So how can this be done?

In your business or organisation you have customers, clients and prospects. If you’re a non-profit, perhaps you call them members and prospective members. For this article let’s refer to them all as customers.

If you are now getting less (or more) business, the most likely reason is because your perceived value proposition has changed.

Is your business suffering – mildly or significantly?
Let’s look at the getting less business situation and explore ways to increase or improve your levels of improvement control.

Step 1. Could you carry out a survey or some simple market research? Is this something within your control?

The purpose here will to find out what’s going on in your market place.

It could be that some people in your marketplace have changed their requirements or their perception on what is and what is not good value for money.

Maybe in their minds, they perceive your product or service in its present form something they can do with less of.

Perhaps your customers are favouring a competitive product or service.

What about relationships? Are your customers now placing more importance how they are treated by the people they do business with?

Step 2. When you have gathered some up-to-date information on your market, here is the next step that you can control.

Make a list of the options that you could consider taking.

And do remember, not making any changes is always an option. It may not be a smart one, but it is an option.

Your options list might include repositioning your business in terms of what sector or sectors of the marketplace you wish to serve.

Also on your option list could be cutting out or making value changes to products or services.

As well as considering the tangible factors of your product or service offering, also consider the intangibles.

For example, could doubling or tripling the number of smiles and thank-yous that you deliver be an option?

Step 3. Now that you have a list of potential business strategy options, is it in your control to deliver a yes or no decision on each?

If making decisions of this type are not within your control, could you propose to your boss, steps one and two above, and then request a yes or no decision?

What about if this recession is having a positive impact on your business or organisation?

If the current economic situation is bringing you more or better business, you also need a recession strategy.

In this situation, you need answers to the following two question:

  •  What research do we need to carry out to fully understand why we are being perceived as a superior value proposition?
  • What changes should we be considering to make our improved business situation sustainable?

Conclusion

Whatever your current situation, a recession strategy is something you do have control over.

You can ask questions and note the answers.

You can list options – including the no changes option.

You can make decisions or request your boss to make decisions.

Andrew Smith
The Business Plan Guy