Sunday, December 7, 2008

So What About the Economy II

I wrote a couple weeks ago about some of the things I think are key to being successful when the economy is a bit out of the norm, and today's circumstances certainly fit that bill. While I am still not sure how much of the current situation is real vs perception, it doesn't matter any more. The actions being taken with job layoffs, cap ex spending cuts, travel lockdowns and the like make it real and an environment we all have to address. As I talk with a lot of partners across the country, there are still only a few that are seeing any significant change in business. HTS had another decent month in November, which is traditionally softer for us anyway. But the key is to keep your eyes and ears wide open and be ready to take action if warranted. It is time to PLAN and hope you never have to actually carry out the plan.

In a way you can consider the planning to be disaster recovery for your company. If the economy truly tanks for us in the SMB sector, the impact will be external to us, but it will be real none the less. We need to have a strategy in place to be able to pull the trigger and take action if things get bad, rather than be paralyzed by needing to figure it out under the gun. It is a lot better to take the time now to decide how you will adapt rather than get down to the last dollars in the good old checking account and have to take drastic action because you can't make payroll any more. I encourage you to put a plan in place with trigger levels that will cause aspects of that plan to be set in motion. It is time to prepare before any possible disaster strikes. It is different than a hurricane, tornado or earthquake in some ways, but the results can be just as devastating if we aren't ready. I would love to see how you are preparing to deal with a tough economy in 2009. Now is the time to get ready! HTG will be focused on making sure we are all ready to weather whatever storm comes our way this year. Together we can tackle it much better than on our own.

1 comment:

Stuart R. Crawford said...

Arlin, I am trying to figure out this economy myself. I agree with you that a number of partners are seeing no real change in business and then I have spoken to some that have lost a lot of money. Cash will be king over the next few months.

My personal thought on this is that we are seeing a return to where we should be. Gas should be around 60 cents a litre in Canada, Oil should be around $30 - $40 a barrel and we shouldn't have to take out a mortgage to do groceries.

I remember talking about this a while back that we could not sustain the prices that things we are for much longer. This crash is long overdue and it is necessary. Sure there will be pain over the upcoming months, but it is short term pain for long term gain. We need to plan and remain focused.

Stuart Crawford
Calgary, AB