Recession & Retrenchments
I’m sure by now everyone has heard of some friend or business that has had a hard time recently with the global financial crisis, it is on everyones mind at some point or other (i bet it is at every payday at least when bills need to be paid).
In September this year i was appointed Director of Search for MediaVision, great step up the corporate ladder after all the long hours and hard work, yet within 2 weeks in this role 1 or 2 large UK clients decided to play it safe with their finances, cutting down costs and as you would expect the marketing budget is the first to go.
Our company faced a tough decision going forward, as we had more hands than we needed then. The announcement was made, and the “laying off” process started. What made this process that much harder, was the fact that before being appointed Director of Search, i was down in the “trenches” on a daily basis with all the staff, having formed strong friendships with most, training and supporting their growth within the company. In many cases just random fun even out of office hours was spent going out together.
The hardest part is having to seperate emotion from the equation, remembering that the business needs to go forward. Decisions need to be made on operational requirements and the future of the company. While most employees were understanding of the current situation, the ordeal was not a very pleasant one for myself to go through (while thinking that this will be my starting legacy as a Director).
So where does this leave other businesses in a similar situation? From my side, we have looked internally at what we offer, analysed and reviewed every service and or process from a very critical standpoint. What we offer works, but during this global recession, if any business does not look internally at developments and possible improvements what stops the same situation from happening again when the recession subsides and a businesses competitors come out stronger than before. Similar to the dotcom crash. As we are slightly smaller than before, however it has given us the unique opportunitiy to look at personal development for employees. At the same time we are improving our current offerings while strengthening our relationships with current clients. After a week of change, the results are being seen. We have survived a good few hiccups over the years and will be around for many many more to challenge any new hurdles.
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain
I’m sure this is a very sensitive subject for most businesses, however i personally feel that we should not pretend this might not happen to us “if i can’t see you, you can’t see me” approach. Don’t get me wrong, i am in no way implying that businesses out there have this attitude.
How have you been affected by the recession?
Decided to try a poll, based on a conversation i had with Louis Venter: