Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Learn Lessons In Bad Times by Alan Maynard

It is reminiscent of buying an ice cream – single scoop double scoop – triple? The commonality between Ice Cream and The Economy is that both can have a radical effect on your waistline even though it is in totally opposite directions!

The points is that whether we are in recession be it single or quadruple is for pretty much all of us irrelevant. It is just an economic term for a set of trading conditions, which only serves to make us feel gloomy. So I ignore it.

I tend to see it as Good times and not so good times. The trick is to try and have a spatial awareness of what is going on and make sure you can adapt to change. The circumstances, which we now find ourselves in, are not new, we have had recession and not so good times before. What catches businesses and families alike out is that we are always too willing to believe that this time the good times are going to last forever and of course they never do. People believed that property could only ever rise in value and, not only that, believed that when they chose to get off the ever upward spiral that it would not only repay their mortgage but relieve them of every other form of excess, credit cards car loans that they had saddled themselves with on the way. Businesses behaved no better, the most common lament you hear is that Banks aren’t lending anymore. In some cases lack of access to funding seriously hampers growth but in so many cases what the business owner is really saying is “I can’t survive unless you lend me money” what does that say about the business? 

So how do we survive in less good times? Well here’s the good news if you have managed to survive so far, you almost certainly have a viable business – things aren’t booming but you are alive and you know that this state of affairs while long, will not last for ever. If you concentrate on your clients – give them what they want – and most of all be prepared to adapt to what is going on. Commercially and domestically alike you have to run lean as possible and wait for things to change. Complaining about how difficult things are is like moaning about the sea you are swimming in – you have two choices and on balance I prefer the swimming option.

Once we get into better times the best thing we can do is to remember what helped us survive in the bad – we don’t survive on credit – because in the difficult times we had to survive on our own cash - we continue to realise the value of our clients as opposed to believing that for everyone we lose there will be another one to replace them. And before we to decide to leap on to the property ladder and stretch ourselves beyond snapping – how about a little spatial awareness – do we really think that interest rates will stay this low for good? 

Alan Maynard
MD Ingot Services

First published EADT Business East Monthly February 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.