Telling the truth about SME life today

Recession” Credit crunch” Pah!

I’ve had a couple of calls in the last month from magazines wanting to interview me on subjects like the “worrying economic climate”, “upcoming recession” and, more positively, sales techniques in tough markets.

The latter I enjoy talking about and have good experience of: we came through the tough 2002/3 period selling to IT recruitment companies in the wake of the dotcom crash unscathed.

The first two topics, however, get a swift response. No, I’m not worried about it; no, I’m not making cuts and yes, I’m still expecting 80 per cent growth this year.

Ok, so the market’s a little tougher than it was and people are a little less willing to spend money right now but I still maintain that if you offer an excellent service at a reasonable price that adds value or saves money you will be able to sell it, no matter how tough the market gets.

Most of my clients are still projecting good growth, the online sector is prospering and I’m happy.

There’s three things I’m especially pleased about…

1. We have incredible repeat business – 97 per cent of clients renew with us each year and around 25 per cent of revenue is tied up in long-term deals (three-five years).

2. We’re really good at sales, it’s one of our best attributes and we can do it in a good market or bad.

3. We’re completely in control of our finances – we have a great FD, low fixed costs and cash in the bank.

My only advice to business during to this so-called "economic crisis" is to run a tight ship. To this day I wish we’d bought in an FD to control the finances much sooner than we did. I strongly advise any business without one to get one now, even if it’s only one day a fortnight.

Other than that, don’t listen to the naysayers, just get on with business.

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