Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So What About the Economy

It is the main topic on every radio show, newscast, newspaper article - it is everywhere. And the best description I have seen for it is we have a "presscession" rather than a real recession. We really have not seen a significant impact in our customer base in the Heartland. I know some of you are from areas where it is very real, and I don't doubt for a minute that there is real pain in a lot of places. But doggone it, if the press would leave it alone things would get better. But they won't so we have to deal with it.

What do we need to do in a recession? Adapt and change. Here are a few thoughts for consideration.
1. We need to evaluate how our cash leaves and enters our company. Can we cut some outgo or speed up some inflow? We need to watch cash because he who has it will win. Cash flow is a critical thing to take care of. Watch the A/R and keep it collected. Cut back where it makes sense. Evaluate how the money flows.
2. Guard your credit. It is a lot easier to lose it than get it so manage it well. Don't miss any payments and take good care of those relationships. Once you lose it the struggle to get it back will be difficult. It is important to realize that this will be an issue during 2009 and it is time to prepare now before it gets worse.
3. Reinvent or at least re-evaluate. In the IT business we have to do this routinely to survive, so there is no better time that a difficult one to see what needs to be changed. There are likely things that need to go, and new things that need to be added. Think carefully about your business and what should continue to be part.
4. Get outside the box. Don't let the norm be the norm - look outside your comfort zone and consider all options. You can't allow the rut to keep you on the wrong path. Creative thinking and planning is key.
5. Plan carefully. Planning is always important but never more important than when times are tough. You need to make sure you have a solid plan and your team understands.
6. Execute. There is never a time that execution shines more brightly. You need to focus on excelling at how you do things, and make sure you do the right things right every day.
7. Do the basic blocking and tackling well. Now is the time to make sure you are consistent and practice the basics. No need for fancy footwork now - just keep doing what is tried and proven and do it better than the rest.

Difficult times are opportunities. Many will struggle, some will fail, but for those who are ready and execute - you can leverage these times to make up ground quickly. Don't listen to the press - just follow your own gameplan and make it happen. HTG helps you focus on the right things. We are looking for a few good VAR's to round out our peer groups. If you are one of them go apply at www.htgmembers.com and become part of the HTG family.

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