Thursday, 10 May 2012

Founders Thoughts: Recession fighting

Sadly since launching the WildeHeads website I've had to change and adapt plans.

The plan was to set up a new venture to assist community enterprises and initiatives with facilitation services during these trying and difficult times on a contract basis. I confess I haven't been following my own suggestions in 'Connecting You' by tweeting regularly and promoting WildeHeads.

The reason for this change is quite simple. The house move that was to result in capital to fund this venture turned out to be unwise to proceed with, so I pulled out. Without funding it's impossible to staff WildeHeads to offer the range of services as planned... yet.

It doesn't preclude me accepting contracts on a freelance basis and operating as a sole trader, but at present my personal priority is to secure work by any means. Hence my recent notifications on Linked In stating, 'open to offers'.

Ever one to find positives from the ashes of any disappointment it does give me the opportunity to build up this blogsite with postings that may be of help to one and all to help us all work through this recession. It provides me with opportunities to gain even more experience for when WildeHeads is in a better position to launch properly. In business, getting the timing right before proceeding is crucial. So while some readers may criticise me as 'a failure to start or deliver', I hope others who are more experienced will realise that my decision is a prudent one to ensure that I can deliver when asked to.

Personally I have no time for critics who do not find out facts as to me they are mere gossip mongering attention seekers with probably a whole host of psychological issues that need addressing. Their motivation for such behaviour, in my opinion, ought to always be questioned.

Of course, not being equipped with a crystal ball I have no idea as to what WildeHeads may or may not turn into in the months and years to come. If nothing else it provides me with a company name to invoice under for any freelance work I undertake. It may turn into something more than a sole-trader or may not. I hope though, that readers find the articles of this blogsite to be of interest and of some use to trigger ideas for solutions. I like to think that in that sense I am doing my bit to help us stay positive to be able to recover from the recession we are currently in and all effected by as quickly as possible.

As a survivor of the 1980s recession, one who successfully ran a company through it, my personal top tip in that regard are:

1. In as far as is possible keep money moving as much as possible and trade, consume and act as normal. Yes budget but don't stop whatever money you happen to have moving. Hoarding it will only prolong the recession and the longer a recession lasts, the harder it becomes to recover.

2. Negotiate credit terms to help your cashflow as much as you can, but be careful of interest rates and interest payments that may apply.

3. Work as team players with customers and suppliers. Time to deploy a wartime team spirit as what is a recession if not a war against poverty and collapse? We are all in this together and we all need each other to be able to survive and recover.

Examples you might want to consider include sharing resources, materials, equipment, work premises and staff. A printing requirement can come down in cost if you share the run with someone else by agreeing to the same stock and ink - the printer won't mind if it means the difference to securing work or not indeed, many printers promote this exact service.

4. Ensure you are hot on your credit control. If new clients do not pay promptly, refuse further work (even if in progress) until that payment is secured. That said, you might be able to offer 60 days credit to your regular customers for no charge as a one off arrangement if they need it, but NEVER offer 60 days credit to unknown parties.

5. Be very aware of rogues and scam-masters. There are companies and individuals who seize upon the opportunity to profit from other people's misfortune. To them a recession is a goldmine. The rule still applies, if it looks too good to be true, it generally is unless it is from a reputable body/source e.g. government grants.

Be cautious by all means, but be realistic and logical in all your decisions. Do not fall into the trap of making wild assumptions, deal in facts and seek them to base your decisions on. Be positive and above all, stay motivated and determined.

Best wishes to everyone

Mel Dixon

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