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How To Survive A Recession?

The Academy for Chief Executives, a leading provider of experiential business learning® facilitates groups of CEOs and Managing Directors who meet together every month to network and take full advantage of experiential learning. Part of membership is ‘The Board You Could Never Afford‘® where members take their issues to the table and discuss with their peers.

Most months, the issues discussed are as diverse as our members’ businesses, however, this month I noticed that many groups were discussing the same issue:

“How to survive a recession”

I’d like to share with you some top tips offered by our members:

A: To Ensure That You Survive …

  • Hoard your cash! Think twice about major investments at during a recession
  • Ensure that key performance indicators and financial numbers are delivered promptly and as close to the month end as possible
  • Watch debtors very carefully
  • Manage stock levels
  • Pay careful attention to prices, seek increases where possible and maintain margins
  • Ensure that your financial planning takes into account the 25% drop in revenue
  • Keep all staff informed of your plans and reassure them about the company’s future; it’s important to maintain staff morale – we re all being bombarded by bad news concerning the economy
  • Keep key customers and suppliers informed too and help your suppliers recession-proof their businesses
  • Ensure everyone in your team is aware of their role in sales and marketing
  • Outsource some of your team to work for others to reduce costs while sales are low

B: To Thrive During The Recovery …

  • Recognise that large clients will rationalise their in-house functions in a recession and this creates opportunities
  • Do not cut marketing and sales budgets, but focus in these areas during a recession
  • 2009-10 will be a good time for investments, suppliers will be pricing keenly to win business, builders will be chasing cash not profits
  • Acquisitions will be available to those with strong balance sheets

This is just a snippet of the advice given by our members. For confidentiality reasons we cannot divulge all of the advice provided – however, we do hold open meetings where guests are able to attend and experience for themselves the real power of ‘The Board You Could Never Afford’®.   To find out how you can take advantage of advice like this every month, visit

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