Tips for Surviving an Economic Slowdown, Part 1

March 20, 2003

From Kirk Alter of Purdue University and Fast Management,Inc., Director of the PHCC Educational Foundation's Managing PHC Projects Course

We’re all having a tough time figuring out what the economy is going to do. Here are some thoughts on how to manage your firm during uncertain times:

Work on increasing the volume of business with your best existing customers rather than expanding your customer base. The cost of acquiring new customers is substantially higher than providing better service to a customer who will reward your attention with more work.

Focus on your sales strategy – what’s working & what’s not. Track the returns on your investment. If something is not working, try something else.

Hang on to your key people even if times get tough. They will generate revenue for you and help you steer your way through unstable times.

Assigning workers to a money-losing project that you take just to keep them busy is never a good strategy. Alternative assignments, like pre-fabricating materials can keep people working and reduce costs on your next job.

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