Recession / The Flip Side
By Doreena Jennings, Software Support Specialist at Sage
I am one of those people that remember the last recession, in vivid detail. I got married during it, had my children, bought my first house and tried to start my first business during it. I managed most of the above very well, apart from the last one – starting my own business. I couldn’t exactly say it failed. I had plenty of sales, had a very decent mark-up, the products were timely but it just didn’t go anywhere. Never quite took off. I had visions of my finance’s going around in circles never actually landing anywhere. Memories flood back of spending hours late into the night inputting figures into excel. All this to answer that very important question, was I was making a profit or a loss. Today with the help of most computerised accounts packages you can find this out with a few simple clicks of a mouse.
Know what’s coming in and what is going out. Understand your cash flow. Keep accounts using accounts software.
One of the things that became invaluable to me was my relationship with my customers. My customers taught me so much, they taught me what they wanted to buy (indicating current and future trends) what colours, styles they wanted even how they wanted their goods packaged. All I needed to do was simply to learn to listen and of course remember to make notes.
Listening to your customers actually works. Consider a CRM solution.
Just like during the last recession, there are now lots of people looking to create jobs for themselves, going the entrepreneur route. The most challenging aspect of this I found was keeping things separate. When you are trying to manage your household budget and manage money coming in for a business it can start to feel like the same pot of money. It’s very tempting for those new to business to get those lines blurred. However starting out with a good plan can help to keep you focused and keep things on track. So don’t forget to start with a Good Business plan
A good Plan will keep you on track. Sage have free planning for business software.
People are so much more tech savvy these day’s and lets face it there is an enormous amount of free information out there. All you need is time, some passion and an internet connection. So what are you waiting for, why not dip you toe in the water, here are some ideas to wet your appetite!
1. Starting up a business in Ireland. Where can I get advice?
2. Short on ideas, don’t worry there is plenty of free inspiration on the web
3. That age old problem money, money, money. From Business Angels to enterprise boards the choice is wide and varied
Don’t forget there are businesses that actually thrive in a recession and maybe yours could be one of them.