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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Recession 'looming' for UK firms

I read on BBC business news this morning that the British Chambers of Commerce announced today in a survey of 5,000 SME's that

"The UK is facing a serious risk of recession within months, the findings of a survey of almost 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses suggest. The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) quarterly report found the credit crunch and rising costs had dented the most important sectors of the economy."

If your firm is facing problems then get take action NOW

The easy stuff you know but here are three TOP TIPS for surviving the recession

First use our cost cutting guide here look hard at EVERY pound your business is spending. This could be a recession of 1-2 years and only the lean and mean will survive.

Second: look at your prices, can you increase them? A rise of 5% in prices could increase your margins by 25% if for example your GP is 20%. Yes customers will complain. Tough action is needed to survive. They may well be doing the same!

Third: consider your marketing. Are you using all tools available to reach NEW customers like Google, EBay, telephone calling, email marketing and so on. Most of these are simple and cost effective.

But the most important marketing thing to do right now is CALL your customers! Ask what they need, how are they getting on? Will they be changing orders or demand for your product/service? Did they know about your new services or products? Tell them what your firm is up to. Ask can you call them every month so you can keep in touch in tough times? That way you show you care about the business your are doing with them. AND you may get orders or provide additional services.

The old marketing adage is "the money is in the list". In other words go through your database of customers and grow your relationships. It is 10 times easier to sell to a customer than find a new one!

Follow these tips to help your business survive. If you need more radical changes then set out a business plan on one sheet of paper and try to follow that plan. You may need outside advice so call your accountant, speak with your bank manager, consultants or call us if you need confidential advice.


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