Old Wolf In Winter

The title of this article refers to survival,in an economic downturn,Mainly caused by Covid 19,absolutely destroying the trading & practice of business worldwide.Harsh true words,will be used here,But if you don't want to go bankrupt,listen to this old "Wolf In Winter" Reality Check, Not a platitude filled business speak,reality check,but a real heart & soul body & mind REALITY CHECK..OK?? I. like an old wolf,have survived the worst of business winters,so I do hope the advice I give will steer you through the current crisis..Read it..then ACT on it,
Facts
Business is about two things basic..MONEY & ACTION!. Firstly,clear your mind of what went before,look at a blank page..From there begin to formulate ideas for your companies future..For a start,business practice,as we knew it is dead!.So let's begin at the beginning..(Don't worry,I will give some very good pointers😁) Truths: Online businessness at the moment,is in a state of denial,like a spurned lover,its trying to put on its best face,& pretend things are OK,but their NOT! Why? Because few online are actually making money,They have useless podcasts,conferencing,any amount of business spin & semantics,but..its purely cosmetic,because they won't make MONEY! Forget the business practices that were,Find the new ones that WILL.
Some DO'S & DONT'S
Told you this would be harsh..But the business world has never been "nicely nicely" Its cold,hard,& ruthless... OK here goes.. You need to cutback on staff.Streamline..Right now surplus staff are a luxury you can't afford....No time to be "Nice".. Take inventory of who you really need & who you don't..Not a time either to keep "Doormats" or "Yes men or women" who "massage" your ego,to stay there,Find people who will do a job for you,Who at times will disagree with you,simple reason,IF..you hire right.These people should be well qualified to do what's required of them,Do like I do (3 month probation),then depending in RESULTS..possibly a contract,never mind if you don't like them,Mostly tough adaptable,imaginative people aren't by their very nature,very likable,but,they can't also be damned GOOD at what they do..!That in turn helps you,& your business),What's good for them is good for you.Reward them accordingly..This as mentioned,is a time for flair ,imagination & seeing or spotting a "gap" in the market,something to exploit,something that the unimaginative haven't seen,Even if you have missed it,Whoever you hire,may spot it! & for that,be forever thankful!
Marketing..
So you have a small or shrunk market?? .In this "Bear Market" consolidation of what you have is paramount,Only spend money,when you're pretty much sure,a Return will come,Remember..Nothing is a sure bet,but you can help that by " doing your homework,accessing risk potential, ect In this Bear market,people are afraid to spend,to risk money,so persuading them is a tall order,Easiest way, is tell the Truth! IE:"This probably will make money,BUT..there's always an "element of small risk..If you can't get a big investor,then get ten small ones,Probably better right now,as the markets are nervous..
Next..You.need to target places globally where you KNOW there is money,no point targeting places that don't,at this time,So you need to be cynical..Remember..its about business SURVIVAL! Pick basic items,to sell,if your selling luxury,then go to the budget end of the market,People will only buy what they can afford..Here's my one "novel" idea,follow the old Sears & Roebuck,catalogue style for the early to mid 20the century,they let people who couldn't afford,"install" payment,but only give when payment is completed,if you try it the other way,it won't work,& money will be lost! The passage of time,online selling,meant Sears eventually went out of business,but their concept was a good one,selling to poorer people who couldn't afford a "one off" payment,created a vast market for them,at a time,mainly in the 1930's of depression,So its an avenue to explore & adapt to suit this current era..Hold that thought!
Perspectives& Attitude.
. Use people who have a positive optimistic approach,Having "gloomy,Apathetic" staff,sends out the wrong vibes,& the customer will pick up on it QUICKLY!. Next we get to "Overheads" Frankly..CUT THEM,as many as possible, don't cut from the top,cut from the bottom! Remember its about (As my late Dad would say,"DEAD MONEY" That means any money that isn't working for you,laying "Stagnant" when you really need it fluid,to progress..Huge overheads,like overstaffing will kill a business.so be shrewd,be financially & business "savvy" If your not,Ultimately,your the one that will suffer..
Calling The Tough Shots
Remember again,That most CEO's however nice they are,smiling on a factory visit,or wherever,Don't get where they are by being "Nice". Most are cold tough & ruthless,when required..I knew a few,who turned the air "blue" in the boardroom,or some just "fired" someone,to "galvanize" the workforce,Ever notice when a crisis happens,a Senior Manager or CEO,comes & "quietly" takes control of the situation? Thats because they have Been there before & know what to do,to fix things,Thats pure experience..It cant be taught,it has to be learned..Most really good Managers,CEO's are at their most formidable in these times,Any fool can run things when its going well..,But it takes the REAL DEAL to tough their way through these times.. and hateful as it appears,that is a true fact of business,nice trusting people don't last..its not a "nice persons" game..
Final Thoughts
If anything I have written here helps you survive these times,Then I'm glad..But many won't,But a "few" will.. Be one if the FEW..Once you become that,its great experience for dealing with the NEXT recessionA funny, many will call you a SOB..BUT you will get great respect from it too!,there always is..Markets go on a cycle of "Boom Or Bust" Getting through this & seeing the next "Bull Market arrive,& all the experience you have gained..to take advantage of it..You can sit back privately & say to yourself "Hooray I survived!" And maybe one day, you can be an "Old Wolf like me..& give good seasoned advice..from a position of experience & Knowledge.I finish with a quote from the Duke Of Wellington,Which applies as much to business,as it does to his warfare.."The ability to keep your head..When all about,are losing theirs! " Sounds about right🙂
Ivan

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