Beating the recession

Right now we are in a global recession of historic proportions. But that doesn't mean you and your organisation are doomed to struggle through, at best, or fail, at worst.

In every recession some businesses will see new ways of doing things, new opportunities, and thrive. Your business can beat the recession, but you may have to change the way you think and the way you run your business.

The human mind is hard-wired to focus on the negative, but doing this drags down spirits, mood, and morale — and makes it more likely that the worst scenario will come true.

Keep focusing on "how bad the recession is" and motivation will drop, you'll miss critical deadlines, make poorer decisions and be less likely to put in the effort needed to win that next piece of business.

So here are some tips to help your business beat the recession. Try one or two, and see what a difference they make — then put them all into action and thrive!

Tips to recession-proof your business

  • Set aside time at the end of every business day to write down three things that went well or opportunities that presented themselves. Share this list with staff and ask them to look for similar successes and opportunities. Before long, you will all be focused on what's going right and acting to make the most of it.
  • Encourage the use of positive language even if it does seem trite.  It helps overcome the negativity.
  • Minimise the impact of setbacks. That doesn't mean ignoring them, it means looking for what you need to do to quickly and productively move on, rather than dwelling on them.
  • If a customer says they're going to have to drop you for now, ask them how you can retain the business. Maybe you will have to lower prices or cut back to a basic service during the recession — maybe it's worth doing that. Then redouble your efforts to win new customers and gain more business from existing customers.
  • Look for the positive, no matter how small or fleeting, and comment on it while holding back the negative comments that come too easily.
  • Increase the amount of consultation and don't over-manage.  We all want to exert greater control when a recession hits, but micro-managing demotivates employees, rather than encouraging them to come up with creative solutions.  It takes a conscious effort to "let go" and be more inclusive, but you will be rewarded with increased effort from everyone.
  • Cut down on reporting. Right now a lot of businesses are damaging productivity by requiring more reporting to explain why people aren't meeting targets set when times were better. You know why targets aren't being met, so just concentrate on working hard to turn things around — and rewarding employees who do the same. It's much more motivating when managers get out in the field working alongside those who play a vital role in the long-term wellbeing of any business.

Foresight can put together a programme to help lift morale and boost productivity at your workplace. Email Foresight to find out how we can help you beat the recession.

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