Despite, the ever increasing number of downgrades for growth projections in the economy, there is evidence that businesses can, and are, bucking the trend. Having attended a number of events and discussion groups recently, where the focus has been on business issues and concerns, there does seem to be a common thread emerging whereby businesses, even in some of the more challenging sectors, are doing better than their competitors. Some might even be bold enough to state they are doing well.
Needless to say such reports and indications, do then beg the question why and how? It would seem that one of the key overriding themes is that such businesses have decided to react to the economic conditions they face, as opposed to waiting and hoping for things to get better or just riding out the storm, which I fear is the default setting for the majority of businesses.
As to how they are achieving more favourable results, it would seem that this is primarily down to leadership from the top, with clear vision and strategy being easily communicated and delivered across the organisation. Equally, renewed efforts, sheer graft and persistence appear to be a part of the winning formula.
Essentially there are only a limited number of ways to grow any business; however, such ways do seem to form part of winning strategies. Even in the most mature markets it seems businesses can increase margin and revenue from existing customers, or attract more of the same type of customers. One of the more common techniques though does seem to be to gain increased market share, and in some cases geographical coverage, through acquisition of competitors, perhaps those less favourably placed in the current economic environment.
The idea of launching a new product or service in the current climate might fill some with dread, but the need of customers and consumers continues to change and it would seem, not least for those who can or could supply overseas markets, there has been no let up from those succeeding in the development and launch of new ideas.
Whilst at the start of the down turn, it was undoubtedly wise not to deviate, in many cases, from the marketing techniques and activities adopted, the last three years or so, have through necessity and developments in marketing, given rise to the need to consider the broader marketing tools and resources available to win and maintain business. Amongst those that seem to be doing well it appears is the trend to develop and implement a marketing strategy that recognises and exploits these broad changes.
Finally, a common theme seems to be the recognition to review, monitor and control processes and practices in all aspects of delivery of the business goals and aspirations. Perhaps the slow down in the economy has both allowed and necessitated such activity.
From a wider perspective there is growing demand for support and advice from businesses advisers including accountants and tax specialists; with the more successful businesses seeing such professionals more as part of the team, than a necessary evil.