Crisis, a word so popular these days that it has become part of daily life at a personal and business level, but what is the crisis? How can we define the crisis for a company? In general terms, we can define a crisis as those situations that cause unexpected changes that affect in one way or another an already planned structure. For a particular company, the crisis can be internal when something that we were not able to notice in due course destabilized us in the normal functioning apparatus in our organization, but a crisis can also be external and this is the one we are most used to see, feel, touch, question and even attack with all our might.
On many occasions and as an example, it is common to find companies that have projects, people, great professionals and great ideas, with even awarded projects, but the crisis for them is where to get liquid money. This is an external factor of stress, because it is not something that we can solve from decision-making within the company, so we can point out many exogenous factors that generate stress for companies such as the devaluation of the currency, the governments policies, competition, unemployment and many other factors that we definitely do not control.
But how does a company do these days to be able to survive in such a changing and sometimes convulsive environment, especially if the company is small or with very few resources?
Allow me to share some insights:
- Build your character as a company, survival today depends on the trust that the members and the environment of the company have in it. It is not about selling triumphalism. These are hard times for everyone. Tell the truth: there are expenses that were acceptable six months ago and no longer today, be consistent with your environment and your income.
- Keep the spirits of your people high, a common temptation during the crisis is to cut expenses, sometimes very drastically. Do not do it. This is no time to abuse business meals or to buy without rhyme or reason. But celebrating is important. Find a way for the whole team to enjoy together when there is something to celebrate. Get creative, there are many ways to save and keep your spirits up, getting everyone involved is always cheaper.
- Be careful with the management of your suppliers, many times companies want the supplier to bear the consequences of what a bank has not been able to provide, this is a mistake, you have to maintain a good relationship with the supplier, ask for what is necessary and pay on time. Hard times will sooner or later pass, do not let these give you a bad reputation, that is a difficult label to remove when you already have it.
- Do the best with what you have, get into things that generate cash quickly, that do not require heavy investments and that your people’s hard work can make sustainable in the first year. Use your own resources. It is about giving just enough to generate cash and cover some of the expenses. When the economy improves, you will be above the average of those companies that seek to be self-sustainable.
- Bet on innovation, look for new lines, look for new customers, look for new markets, look for new products, develop new strategies, innovate, innovate, innovate, in all areas and in all senses innovate.
- Listen, in a way markets speak, listen to them, markets are people, be attentive, they also have feelings, be attentive to them, understand them. Learn the art of listening to the dialogues of the markets because there lies the key to your business development, the important thing about learning to listen to them is that even in the worst moment of crisis that your company may be going through, the market will always be making its needs known.
- Develop yourself, above all, look for a way to develop yourself and your people, invest in your development, developing implies a commitment to the search for excellence, in the end investing in yours and your people’s development will always return every penny by tenfold.