Strategies for Survival in 2009

Congratulations if you’ve made it so far! You’ve obviously got most of your ‘house in order’ but if you think 2008 was tough, in the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’. So it’s going to do no harm to look at all areas of your costs to see if any more fat can be trimmed.

A good strategy is to start with a blank piece of paper (or start a new Excel spread sheet). Forget about your existing business let’s put a plan together for a new business. Enter all the overheads you need for this ‘new business’ (or even dig out your original business plan if you still have it)

Now look at you existing expenses and compare them to your plan for your new business. I bet there’s lots of costs that you hadn’t budgeted for. So you didn’t think you needed them for your new business – are you sure you need them now? Are there cheaper alternatives to the £3 per week you’re paying for hand dryers in the toilets (+the cost of electricity). 

The comparison websites, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare etc are not just for individuals – check out the best deals for your electricity supply, telephone, business insurance etc. BTW sign up for a cash back website such as and access the comparison sites from there and you can get commission back as well!

Why not ask your staff for money saving ideas? They are a wealth of experience and they often view you business from a totally different angle. Offer a reward for the best ideas – 50% of the yearly saving or a meal for 2 at Pizza Express (then print out the 2 for 1 on-line voucher!!!)

Be ruthless and cut out everything that’s not needed to get more sales! Talk the cuts through with your staff – they’d prefer to forgo some ‘luxuries’ if it means that their job is more secure.

Later we can discuss stock, suppliers and landlords – Good Luck

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Rescue and Recovery Consultant


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