December 18, 2008

Good advice for bad times.

Aristotle famously advised that we should choose our philosophers as carefully as we choose our butcher (or words to the same effect). In age of BSE, samonella and occassional high profile recalls of tukey, pork and beef products that is an important point.

We all know the effects of eating bad meat, but what are the affects of consuming bad advice? The quetion is this: n the present challenging business climate - is the advice we are getting helpful, or harmful?

Last week I attended an enterprise evening with 3 consultants, 1 solicitor, 2 bankers. Their message cut back expenses, draw out credit, delay making payments and generally 'batten down the hatches'. I was left uninspired, apart from one presenter who reminded the audience that Microsoft and Apple among other companies were founded during a recession.

The message is the same time and time again - a negative one. A few weeks ago you may have heard me complaining about a high profile, but very de-motivating breakfast event delivered by the Chief Executive of an international consulting firm and a former senior civil servant.

Every day we read the 'recession-laden' advice of journalists, economists and pundits. And it all leaves me feeling like the meat is gone off! But then a voice of wisdom breaks through!

In this case the words of a veteran entrepreneur and holder of the title; Master Entrepreneur of the Year (a title awarded by Ernest & Young) and MD of Peninsula Systems a successful B2B services business that has grown from 50 to 23,000 customers over two decades.

So, what was the same Peter Done's remedy for difficult economic times? Quite simply this: 'our telesales staff now work an extra hour each day and an extra two hours on Wednesdays.' If the market is tough then increase the level of sales activity.

So, while everybody else is cutting their way back to success (in line with the advice of all those others mentioned above), their customers are being targeted more aggressively by companies like Peter's.

No comments: