A route out of recession and making it happen

Slide1It is really encouraging to see business contracts being awarded and the flow of wealth starting to happen. I always think that a visit to the local Shopping Mall is a great barometer of feeling and last weekend my local centre in Solihull was heaving. There are no major sales taking place and it wasn’t during the school holidays, just your average wet February Saturday afternoon. In fact, you could be forgiven as a Consumer if you were feeling miserable. It’s been raining for 2 months and the sky has been mostly grey, but despite that, the shoppers looked happy.

Optimism is great for the sole and a lubricator for the wallet!

When fortune returns after a recession, you have to be there to maximise your return from it. In the B2C markets, let’s say you are running a restaurant or a bar, you should be asking yourself, Are your staff ready to provide an even better level of service? Sometimes, a Customer needs to wait for a table, which isn’t a problem for a Consumer, for lots of people that is good as it means the restaurant is popular and probably has an atmosphere. However, when you wait you need to feel that there is a sense of ‘urgency’ going on around you, to look after you, drinks, seat, etc, before being taken to your table.

The above example is a simple one but can be transported to B2B markets and services as a simple model for maximising on Market confidence, through customer experience.

Now, my challenge to everyone; Are we doing enough to help Customers spend their hard earned/scarce money? My argument is, No, we are not.

Urgency doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen!

During the recession employee training budgets were cut and the focus was on survival. Companies sought to maintain Profits but not staff levels and not staff competencies.

Survival and being Competitive are not always mutual friends, but if you want a slice of sustained growth, you need to go back to the drawing board and you need to take your staff with you. Unemployment levels are high but you will have to try hard to get the right skills to make your company work. You have to look at your business operating model and ask yourself why Customers want to do business with you. Nothing should be taken for granted, leave no stone unturned.

So as you look out at the growing opportunity from the door of your business, take a look over your shoulder at your operation and make a quick assessment whether you think you are ready to compete.

About David Dugdale
Management Consultant

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