Downturns are a terrible thing. Thousands of people lose their jobs, hundreds of firms go out of business, and on top of it all, prices rise across the board. Every cloud has a silver lining, though - not least the downturn, which could sort of be seen as an advantage if you cock your head and squint a bit. This guide will take a fresh look at the downturn and its upsides.
1) Raising finance
While banks are increasingly reluctant to lend, elsewhere, investment is still happening. There is money around - particularly, at the moment, in the form of angel finance from high net-worth individuals who are unwilling to take the risk of putting money into a bank. Look at groups such as Angels Den, and make sure you have a solid business plan when you're approaching investors.
2) Dwindling competition
Downturns tend to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to business, so it's very likely that if your competitors have any unscrupulous or ineffective business practices, now is when they will come to light. To prevent yourself becoming one of those, plan for the effects of the downturn and stay on top of your cashflow.
3) Diligent employees
During a downturn, workers are worried for their jobs, and eager to show their employers just how much they need them by working harder. Don't take advantage of this, though, and make sure you show your staff how much they are appreciated. If you do need to make redundancies, follow the proper legal procedures.
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