Five mistakes businesses make during recession


Five mistakes businesses make during recession

Karl Flinders

Harvard Management has outlined five mistakes for businesses to avoid during recession:

  1. Delaying decisions that will improve the long-term health of your company
  2. Assuming the smart way to grow is always cautiously and incrementally
  3. Bulletproofing the company by moving into recession-resistant business
  4. Focusing on broadening your customer base
  5. Assuming that a recovery is based on what leaders do, not what they think

1. Delaying decisions that will improve the long-term health of your company for fear of the market's near term response.

Harvard Managementsays: "Don't shrink away from decisions that may be unpopular with investors and analysts over the short run, but make sure that you're able to show the value of those decisions."

Computer Weekly says: Standard Life realised its business model wasn't working.It decided to invest in IT to support a change to its business model and reduce operating costs.

2. Assuming that the smart way to start growing againis always cautiously and incrementally.

Harvard Managementsays:"Two ways of seizing the initiative during the recovery are grabbing new employees and your competitors' customers."

Computer Weekly says: HSBC is increasing its IT investment as part ofprogramme to standardise its IT systems across the globe. It aims towin new customers by making it easier for them to interact with the bank.

3. Trying to bulletproof the company by moving into recession-resistant business.

Harvard Managementsays: "Look for growth and acquisitions that extend and enhance your core capabilities."

Businesses can use IT to take them into new markets and create new products.

4.Focusing on broadening your customer base

Harvard Managementsays: "Cherish the customers that stayed with you through this slump. Chances are they'll be your best buyers in good times, too."

Computer Weekly says:Organisations can use IT systems such as customer relationship management and analytics software businesses tolearn more about customers and improve their service provision with them.

5. Assuming that a recovery is based on what leaders do, not what they think

According to the paper, the attitude of management is very important. Senior management must stay positive during downtimes and not be too euphoric when the recovery comes.

Computer Weekly says: Businesses should not scrap IT projects when times are bad. They should also hold back from spending on unnecessary technologies when things pick up.

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