Over the next few months, many organisations may face difficult times, but as a leader within your organisation what can you do to ensure your firm remains successful? The following are a number of tips that will help.
- Don’t be fearful. To often individuals and organisations become paralysed by merchants of “gloom and doom”. However, the reality is that life still goes on; people and businesses still have needs. So its time to focus on your organisations uniqueness and adapt your offering to outsmart your competitors.
- Focus on cash flow. The liquidity crisis has highlighted the importance of cash – if you have it you won’t go bust, so as a leader it’s vital that you are really on top of your cash position.
- Avoid simply slashing costs. While it is prudent to review costs during difficult times, indiscriminate cutting of costs across the business are more likely to damage customer relationships and ultimately damage the business in the long term.
- Don’t become internally focussed. As a leader it is easy to become distracted by internal issues such as restructuring, reorganisations and cost reductions. However, it is vital that you also give time to your key customers, their needs and generating as much revenue as possible.
- Remember – you need people! Try to avoid making redundant people that are vital to the future success of your organisation. In addition, simply putting a freeze on all recruitment can lead to a shortage of good people in the future.
- Keep people motivated. While employees are less likely to leave their jobs during difficult times, it doesn’t mean that they will be any more motivated. Identify ways that your staff can be more empowered, take greater responsibility and use their initiative more.
- Support your customers. Understand what difficulties your customers may have. How can you help them? For example, what innovative pricing or payment terms can you agree on? Support will breed customer loyalty for the future.
Finally, it is also important to recognise that not all areas of the economy will be hit in the same way. Clearly anything related to domestic property and banking have been hit hard, but there will be other areas in both private and public sectors that will not be affected in the same way.