Telling the truth about SME life today

“Start planning for the next recession now”

One of the truths about economic turbulence is that it’s cyclical (every seven to ten years) and that we are very bad at transferring our knowledge of one recession into the next. What I suggest is that you begin to prepare now for the next recession while your experience is fresh. Take time to write down the following;

The five things you wish you had done prior to this recession that would have made life easier.The five things you’ve learned to do while managing your business in a recession.The five things you’ve leaned not to do when managing your business in a recession.

Put them in an envelope marked "notes to the future" and log a diary reminder to read them on 1st January 2015 and every 1st January thereafter. Get your senior colleagues to do the same and exchange copies of your notes. This simple procedure will preserve your current learning, ensuring it doesn’t decay over the intervening years of comparative stability and, hopefully, renewed prosperity. Just think of the benefit you would have derived from reading similar notes from people in your position in the last recession. Do it now before you forget and, in the spirit of sharing, please feel free to email a copy to Real Business and we’ll publish the results shortly (anonymous if you prefer but please indicate size of business and industry sector) and again on 1st January 2015. Anthony Holmes is an international corporate turnaround specialist and transitional leadership expert. He has led the revival of seven companies over 15 years and his 30-year international business career spans strategic consultancy, investment banking and senior corporate management in a diverse range of industries. Holmes’s book Managing Through Turbulent Times is out now with another, A Time to Lead, A Time to Manage, to follow.

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