Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mohnish Nair's Business Coaching

How Businesses Should Be Structured to Effectively Deal With a Recession

By Micheal O Wright


Okay, I personally have witnessed a lot of changes on my high street, like the departure of WoolWorths and the popular "Massive Sale, All Stock Must Go. Closing Down!" banners filling the streets with bright colours. Retailers now more than ever wished they had better online presence and bankers made redundant are now creating eShops on eBay. This by far is the worst I have seen in my lifetime. But a thought has always lingered in my mind, what if businesses can be structured in a way that the effects of a recession does have minimum effects on their businesses.

For this, I'll have to refer to Accenture's way of doing business and that is to continually innovate. Innovation comes from employees, experience, technology and of course the good old will to succeed. Without these "ingredients" it is harder to compete and gain new customers/clients. Innovation does not necessarily mean coming up with the next big idea or having the most intelligent and talented employees. It might just be a simple, shorter, cost effective way of performing a business process. Another thing that goes along with innovation is expansion. This might not be a good idea during a recession but a good way to better deal and prepare for one. Companies should expand and take advantage of current sales of one product to drive or create sales for other products. For example, a successful taxi adds car rentals or car repair/garage to its services, using the already famous brand name or a tan shop adds a sauna or a hairdresser adds manicure services.

In addition to the above, being flexible is also good. Flexbility with products and services. An example best depicts this is, an online retail company that has its own delivery vans, can easily create a logistics service for other businesses. More like lending parts of your businesses out to others to use it. If a business is structured such that part it can perform independently of each other, you definitely have a good thing going. This leads me to the next point which is outsourcing Some companies find outsourcing or downsizing as a good way of reducing cost and still keep healthy business processes. When company outsource the resultant effect is loss of jobs. My rule is this, if someone can do what you do better, cheaper outsource it! Same way people use eBay to sell online.