With the recession and financial meltdown at full pitch, one of the Hallmark's of this recession is that phones have just completely stopped ringing. Like the banks that are unwilling to lend money, people, too, are hoarding their cash. I know that I was prepared, or at least preparing, for a slowdown – But I wasn’t prepared enough for a complete work stoppage.
As the financial/lending house of cards tumbled down, people completely stopped paying their current bills. Add the consumers' inability to obtain credit and their reluctance to spend on anything that isn't an essential item has lead to a complete shutdown in consumer spending. I hope that you are faring better, but please prepare yourself for a complete halt to your incoming funds.
5 Recession Survival Strategies:
- Prepare yourself for the worst. Cut all costs; reduce the number of offices, employees, vehicles, etc. If it can be eliminated or sold for cash, do it now!
- Be prepared to keep your business running with absolutely no work or payments coming in - for many months. You will not be seeing much in the way of deposits, if anything and you will only receive payments in dribs and drabs.
- Collect everything you can from people that owe you money and don't release any work unless you’re paid first. This is a practice that has to be changed now and forever. We, as land surveyors, are not banks and should not engage in the business of lending money. In case you haven’t noticed lately, even banks are not very good at evaluating risk and successfully lending out money. If a client isn’t paying you it’s because you’ve allowed him or her to use you as a cheap way to borrow money, often at no added cost above the amount borrowed – What a good deal for him or her!
- Do invest in the following; Yourself, Technology and Marketing. Now is the time to stop carrying everyone else on your shoulders and invest in yourself. Work to payback you! Invest in technologies, like Robotics and GPS, which enable you, as a business owner, to reduce your staff, and get the job done better, faster and cheaper. Finally, do invest in marketing as this is the only way to successfully navigate your ship through these turbulent waters and grow (save) your business.
- Improve customer satisfaction. Improving your delivery systems, communications and customer satisfaction can be your silver bullet. Now, more than ever, is the time to make your company stand head and shoulders above the rest of your competitors.
Good luck and work hard! (These are actually the 6th & 7th bonus strategies, for all that took the time to read to the bottom of this post)