It’s been more than five years since the Global Financial Crisis hit, and without a major resurgence on the horizon, the realization is dawning that this is how it will be for the forseeable future.

Business owners who were waiting for that upswing, have either given up, or decided to forge ahead. And while credit is relatively inexpensive right now, the real cost is in cashflow. It’s also where the real issue lays. Long term contracts are being voided, or “put on hiatus”, as businesses re-evaluate their commitments. For the first time in years, businesses are hanging onto computers, phones and other hardware for “an extra year or two”.

So how can you respond to this new normal? The first way is to reduce your risk. Set revenue or profitability targets which trigger your expenditures, rather than just to reduce annoyance or frustration. If you don’t have enough business, hiring another body just isn’t logical. If it cripples your cashflow, equipping everyone with new tablets may have to wait.

The flip side of this is by increasing your responsiveness to clients. When you offer to put programs on hiatus, or to help them scale back, you become the long-term partner they can’t afford to let go.

  • By reacting to these situations when you see them, rather than when they smack you in the face, you have the opportunity to be ahead of the decisions.
  • By planning your client’s downsizing, you can manage your own resources better than if you are merely reactive.
  • And you position yourself as looking after your clients’ interests ahead of your own.

These are three silver-lining benefits you didn’t think you could wring from short-term business decreasing, which can help you survive in the long-term.

 

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