Why Small Businesses Both Hate and Love What I Am Saying
It seems that my ‘Beating The Credit Crunch’ book and ‘ology’ is like marmite. People love it or hate it.
The messages are pretty straightforward. You shouldn’t even think about increasing sales until you have done the following:
- Put up your prices if you can
- Compete on everything but price
- Screw your suppliers’ feet to the ground on price
- ‘Fix’ the under-performing staff, suppliers, customers and products, or sack them
- Pay money 10 days slower; collect money 10 days faster.
There is a bunch of people who seem to miss the whole point. They describe me as callous, insensitive, cruel, mercenary, short-sighted, and selfish. I will list the top few grumbles:
“Put prices up in a recession?” “All your customers will go to the competition” “You can’t go around sacking people yet expect the rest to remain loyal.” “It is dumb to expect to be able to screw suppliers’ feet to the ground yet not get screwed yourself” “It is dumb to expect to be able to get paid 10 days quicker yet pay 10 days slower.”
I seem to have wound up a brigade of people who feel that their business deserves to do well because of their good intentions.
I am afraid that being nice is not enough, especially in these recessionary times. And the inevitable procrastination does not help anyone.
So, take a morning out with your key business partner or colleague, take a blank piece of paper and make the tough decisions that you will implement over the next two weeks. You will be amazed at how this decisiveness will give you the energy, focus and direction that might have been lacking of late. Go for it.