Recessions come and go, but come they do, usually when you are least prepared. South Africa is in a technical recession and the past weekend we had a load of International speakers shouting of coming worldwide recessionary doom. So rather than telling you to prepare or to batten down the hatches I thought it wiser to show you how you can just simply boycott the recession.
A pull back, not a disappearance
When times are tough people usually cut overheads and keep on cutting until they survive. I am not a big fan of this strategy but that is a discussion for another day. What they do not take into account is that you can cut your overheads up to a certain point and that is where it ends. Certain things you cannot cut, food, a house, clothes, transport costs etc. Cut food, you die, the recession wins. Cut your house and you will be out in the cold, not due to sleeping outside but the cold mood and emotions radiating from your wife and children.
People remain human. You have human needs of being social, growing and trying your best just to be a little better. Thus, you can cut your budget but you cannot cut the act of living.
From a business perspective, there will always be business, it cannot completely die.
Value, a different perspective
People pay you for value provided. When a recession hits people usually re-evaluate how they value things. I will take the 2008 recession as an example. The value of a roof over your head was in the form of a new, bigger, house. Then the recession hit, the need for a roof over your head never disappeared with it. It shifted form. People still needed a roof over their head but now they were looking at rentals, smaller homes, cheaper building material homes, co-living etc.
Where businesses fail
When the value shifts is where businesses fail. They refuse to adapt their business model or their understanding of customer needs. They keep running around in the market trying to sell the value people valued before the recession, then nobody buys, and they collapse.
How to boycott the recession or any economic meltdown
To boycott a recession you need 2 steps. That is all.
#1. Identify the shift
Even before the recession hits, you need to think in what shape or form your current customer value can shift into if they are under financial pressure. Prepare for it now.
Ask questions. It was Dr. John Demartini who said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. When the pawpaw hits the fan businesses seek answers and that can be a mistake. Seek better questions. An answer is a commitment to a direction and a solution. A question leads to options and opportunities. Asking questions turns your business into a learning business. Thus, get your management team in every Monday and ask questions about your situation and the situation that your clients are facing.
That is why so many successful business people will tell you they make more money in tough times than good times, partly because they are masters at seeing the shift in value. Not many businesses see the value shift, so the playing field for those who do is open with very little competition.