The recession hokey cokey…

You know how it goes. Last week we were in a recession, this week we’re out. In, out, in, out, shake it all about. What’s a poor business to do? In a nutshell, what it does best, as well as it can, and a darn sight better than its competitors.

Working on strategies and budgets with various clients at present, I have been presented with statistics which show this GDP growth or that consumer confidence. It is all valuable stuff but at the end of the day for most small and medium sized businesses it is about developing opportunities and growth based on your strengths and your efforts. It is no longer possible to rely on economic growth to deliver business growth.

That is why understanding your numbers and what they mean for profits and cash flow is so important. If you can do this, you can use your market awareness to put together realistic action plans, targeting potential new clients that are creditworthy and that can deliver real growth. You can also assess current clients and the opportunities that they can present. Of course there are threats to take into account. However strategic financial planning involves understanding and managing risks so you can reap the benefits.

How you view the economy is often dependent on your own personal attitude to life. Do you see the Olympics as a disruption or opportunity? As regards the stock market are you a bear or bull? Do you think an extra day’s holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee is a headache or a chance to create a feel good factor? In short is your glass half empty or half full? Entrepreneurs are inherently optimistic. Finance Directors are less so. This is a good mix for a sustainable future.

The “good times” of the last decade are long gone. The likelihood is that the only economic certainty over the coming months will be uncertainty. We’ve all had to learn how to deal with that over the past few years haven’t we? It is now time for us to put what we have learned into practice to move our businesses forward. Whatever your mood, whatever your disposition, whatever your religion, have a good Easter break and then get stuck into doing what you do better than anyone else.

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