I don’t admitting that isn’t the first (or even second) recession that I’ve lived through. What did I learn from them?
Well, I guess the biggest lesson was that the easiest and most obvious solution is not always the best one. Last recession I was running a small plastics company employing a few people. The easiest solution even with current employment laws was to amalgamate say, three jobs into two, make one job redundant, lose a salary and reduce your costs.
However this is not always the best first course of action. Other than anything else the threat of redundancies brings a black cloud over your business and all the people working within it. Your employees spend more time worrying about their jobs and speculating about it endlessly with their colleagues rather than trying help the company improve its position.
What I learned is that best first course of action is to look at all your other costs. In fact get everyone to look at all the other costs. There are so many areas in every business where lack of attention or complacency during the good times allows costs to creep up. Every employee has within their own area of responsibility opportunities to make savings however small. This helps involve everyone in trying to help the company and creates a feeling of unity through adversity.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a one man band trying to make a living on the internet and thinking “What has any of this to do with me?” eBay fees keep increasing, selling prices are falling – I’ve only myself to make redundant.
Think of all the costs in your business and where you can choose your supplier. We’re all used to being bombarded with advice about changing our suppliers of gas or electricity to get the best deal which is OK. But tell me when was the last time you checked your broadband deal? We tend to sign up for the mandatory 12 months and then can’t be bothered to change.
Hey, but here’s the secret – you don’t even need to change to possibly get a better deal. Recently I was bringing my books up to date, on my broadband provider’s site, printing off the last 3 months invoices when I stumbled by accident into the product section. What I saw there was the same deal as I was on PLUS free line rental. Digging quickly through my records I saw that I had been out of contract for some time and with just one phone call I was saving £11.00 per month. Not a lot you might say but it’s £132.00 per year for half an hour’s work. £264.00 per hour – wish I had more hours at that rate!
And I got a new wireless router/ modem!
That’s just one example without even having to change your supplier. Go to one of the broadband comaprison sites such as www.broadband.co.uk/ and check the sites of the various providers to find the best deal for you.
You may be surprised what you find.