Everyone knows that while you may have the qualifications in every kind of business management, your success really depends on your drive and ability to manage your business through a recession. This is why I was interested to read this article by Gerard Burke who is the programme director at Cranfield School of Management, Bedford.
In this article, Burke outlines the characteristics which SME owners will draw on to successful guide their business through the choppy economic seas! While a considerable amount of SMEs are finding themselves struggling to keep their heads above water, SME owners are drawing on key skills to optimise their business practices.
Here are Burke’s top 6 business characteristics:
Being in Control: Owners should take control of their destiny. Take ownership of your business and grasp opportunities which may come your way.
Confidence: While there is most certainly an economic downturn, there are still customers with money to spend so all is not lost! Communicate a confidence in your business and this will start to rub off on your staff and show your customers that you believe in your business.
Be Distinctive: Make sure your product has a strong unique selling point, which there is a demand for within your target territory. Communicate this effectively to your customers to show how you differ from every other business.
Strength: Remember the goals of your business and what it promises its customers. Don’t start trying to add on extra services without ensuring that you are carrying out your current services to the highest standards. Question any costs and follow up on debtors to make sure you keep your books balanced. Running a tight ship will ensure that your business is operating to the best of its ability and has the best chance of surviving the recession.
Wisdom: Make sure that you don’t lose your drive to grow your business. While sales may be falling, you should not outline all investments, as some may allow you to grow and expand your business. Make sure you research all opportunities which come your way, and invest wisely.
Being Prepared: Keep an eye on your competitors and developments within your target market. As some of your competitors may drop, this could create a good opportunity to you to acquire new customers and even key staff. Recruitment has become highly competitive and you should be able to fill any vacancies with high quality staff.
Gerard Burke is involved in the Business Development Program at Cranfield. SME owners can attend free briefing events to find out about the services which this program offers; visit the program’s website to find out more. Alternatively, visit Franchise Direct’s franchise expos and events calendar to find out about business and franchise seminars coming up near you!