By Dr George Atsalakis
and by Ioanna Atsalakis
The smaller your company is the more flexible it can be in decision making and more possibilities would emerge to cope with difficult financial situations. The reason is that small companies are able to innovate. Every innovation requires experimentation and every experiment presupposes failure. Big companies and mostly their business directors avoid risk taking so as not to fail. Never does a director of a big company want to lose his or her job because he took a risk that ended in a failure. Even though one wishes to avoid failure it seems that it is often unavoidable.
However, small companies have no other choice but succeed through risk taking. In order to succeed they have to innovate. And in order to innovate they have to take over the risk of innovation. The more these companies are exposed to risk (despite possible failure) the more intelligent, more innovative, more efficient and more skillful they will become through time since they are constantly evolving.
The economic crisis offers opportunities and conditions that small businesses should exploit in a clever way. What should be done involves taking the risk to introduce innovations in the products they produce or in the offered services, or create innovative strategies to promote their products or services, to design innovative strategies regarding pricing and develop innovative strategies to distribute the products they produce or the services they offer.
Innovate in your company and follow the advice below:
1) Employ suitable staff at the lowest cost. The economic crisis results in abundant services offers by capable and remarkably qualified employees, who in the past were considered “too expensive” to engage. It is very important to attract excellent employees to work in your businesses. These are the ones who would guarantee success. A first-rate worker is someone whose contribution assessed in money surpasses to a great extent the total pay that receives from your company. In this specific case an employee of this kind is considered “for free” plus that he/she brings significant profit to your enterprise.
2) Organize an effective, yet much cheaper marketing strategy. Due to the economic crisis, the companies which offer marketing services (advertisement, sales promotion etc.) constantly reduce their prices. Therefore, you can negotiate really low prices for your advertisement. While great competitors strive to reduce their marketing expenditure in order to reduce their expenses so as to cope with the economic crisis, you on the other hand will get cheaper and more frequent advertisement, an action that could not be realized in the past.
3) Be supplied with every kind of infrastructure and equipment cheaply. Due to the economic crisis you will be able to rent offices, industrial or warehousing space cheaply, even permanent equipment (computers, machinery, tools, and cars etc.). Additionally, there will be excess supply regarding new infrastructure and equipment, which because of reduced demand will be much cheaper in relation to the past. Second-hand equipment that is offered by companies that sell it due to financial difficulties will be even cheaper.
4) Take full advantage of the reduced competition. Due to the fact that several companies in every field shut down, you will have to encounter reduced and weaker competition because most enterprises reduce promotion expenses. Furthermore, competition will be slower and will delay to react promptly to your advertisement campaign.
5) Obtain a bigger share in the market. Due to the economic crisis, your business competitors reduce their expenses and consequently reduce the services they offer to their customers. This results in their customers being dissatisfied because of the low quality service. Therefore, the customers are not so loyal any more to their ex favorite company and many times turn against it. They become vulnerable and are ready to quit it and become your own customers. Approach them following the above marketing strategy and they will become your own loyal customers.
Risk and change everything in your company; the way you think, the administration procedures you apply, the way you serve your customers, the way you cleverly approach new customers etc. Do not sit there doing nothing. Adjust yourselves to the new financial environment that the economic crisis puts forward. The quicker you adjust the more efficiently you will overcome it. If you succeed in innovating, in changing and in surviving within the present economic crisis, you will gain the invaluable experience of having handled it effectively and it is more than sure that you will not be threatened by another crisis in the future.
Source of publication 12th edition In-On