I was surprised that our cash flow has so far remained largely unaffected by the credit crunch and ongoing financial crisis.
Soon I’d actually replaced concern with ambition, deciding it’s really true — crisis is an opportunity. Here’s six resolutions we made to survive … and thrive.
- It’s a buyer’s market
It’s a surprising new development, but stock pickers know there are bargains when the market drops 30% — and the bad economy is also creating bargains in the general marketplace. We’ve discovered that struggling suppliers are now offering deals, especially to customers who can make long-term commitments. (And yes, I’m putting some of my surplus cash into long-term investments.)
There’s also never been a better time to line up a long-term contracts at reduced rates.
- Keep costs low
Anticipating a financial slowdown, I moved into a smaller workspace, switched to cheaper phone plans, eliminated redundant services, and engaged in a massive review of operational costs. In tough timesm there’s a smaller margin of error, and reducing costs obviously affects the bottom line just as much as income.
- Form new alliances
It seems like now everyone is more willing to at least consider a partnership or merger. A dire economy provokes real concern, and there may never be another moment where potential partners are this open.
- Embrace online globalism
I’ve heard stories about “online outsourcing,” with online workers offering routine services at prices lower than anything we’ve seen before. Networking globally — and collaborating — is one genuinely new idea for reducing costs. (Amazon’s “Mechanical Turk” service is just one example.)
Some businesses are thriving in today’s financial environment — and some aren’t. But you don’t have to know which is which if you can diversify your customers, yours clients — basically, your sources of income.
Arthur C. Clarke once said the best advice for humanity came from a Douglas Adams book: “Don’t panic.” Objectively things are not as bad as they seemed in September, and we’ll navigate the problems that remain with some flexibility — and some common sense.