The Economic recession is one of the business cycles countries work towards avoiding. Though it will always occur, as it would be triggered by economic or political factors.
During this time, the panic mode of most businesses are activated, and opportunities provided by this economic condition are never utilised.
The posture of the founder of Apple Inc, Steve Jobs is one that offers great value to how best a company show reposition in this time.
Steve told the Fortune Magazine about his line of thought during America’s economic recession of 2008, “In fact, we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked.”
Let me guess your response to this scenario, “of course, Apple’s brand value is high, it has an impressive balance sheet, no debts and access to funds.”
Note that if your firm hope to find itself in a similar position of strength, then consider using this recession to achieve a comparative advantage and growth.
Here are four steps your company should consider now:
INVEST HEAVILY IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This is one step most companies drop during low demand and economic downturn. Rather, you should consider spending on R&D towards finding a more cost effective way of offering your services and producing the products without reducing the quality.
It may also be R&D towards the development of new products which would meet the expectation of your consumers.
This is usually the best time to develop strong product advantage over your competitors.
LEARN ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES CREATED BY COMPETITORS’ WEAKNESS
One opportunity most small companies don’t consider is the gap created by strong competitors’ concentration on their big client.
The Managing Consultant of a small management consulting told me that: “I am always busy because I look for small firms that need my service and are ready to pay not much as the big companies.”
“The big firms won’t come to me, as the big consulting firms are also struggling to get them on their client role."
Hence, ensure you incline towards that small business and customers that need your services and products.
Focus your energy and client’s drive on these potential new customers, especially those with growth prospect and strong financial base.
IDENTIFY YOUR MOST CRITICAL SUPPORT LINE
After getting the above steps into operation, then the next you must do is to determine which the most critical support your business cannot do without.
This could mean helping a supplier or distributor whose input is inevitable to your operation. Even by giving the smallest gesture to this critical support line, it would build an enduring loyalty that will pay off for you in years to come.
THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT YOUR TALENT NEEDS
The last step is to conduct knowledge audit of your organisation, one which would have been revealed by step one and two.
Hence, get an employee with the requisite skills in a freelance role, as many companies due lay-off some of these good people.
Thus, capitalise on this opportunity to identify and attract talented employees to their team.