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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

IT SME Strategies to Counter Today’s Global Meltdown

Arpan Banerjee
Thursday, January 29, 2009
 Arpan Banerjee
There is no denying the fact that the world economy is going through one of the most turbulent phases in recent history. One has never seen before such a massive impact on industry across the board, which got sparked off by the housing sector crash in the U.S., opening the Pandora's box of global credit crisis. The spillover from the subprime mortgage crisis is weakening both consumer confidence and the consumer spending — much of it on credit — that has been buoying the U.S. economy. Most of the leading global economies have registered a recession, and this economic slowdown will probably last much longer than the experts initially thought.

The theories point out that troughs like the current phenomenon usually last about 12-18 months. Considering that we are already almost 6 months into this downturn (Though the U.S. market reportedly slipped into a recession since December 2007, we shall take the global recession start time in mid-2008 for reference) we have to hold fast for another year or so before the winds start coming back to our sails again. But it is also a harsh truth that during this testing period, some organizations may cease to exist.

Let's look at the scenario from the context of small and mid-sized IT and software companies and look at some possible strategies to counter this global downturn. Now is the time to put together a survival strategy to ensure your business survival, as conditions could become much more challenging during the next 12 months.

The following are six basic strategies to focus on, assuming you already have got your expenses under control and are maintaining a positive cash flow.

Concentrate on the Customers
Client retention, not acquisition, becomes a top priority now. The best you can do is not to lose an existing customer, build customer loyalty, and at least keep up the same volumes of business with them. Show them how well you've done - show them the savings they make and the profits they earn from the value of their services. Consider conducting client satisfaction surveys for monitoring success. Make your company's offerings more valuable with speedy deliveries or flexible payment terms. Since your customers also feel the pain of the recession, they will appreciate it and will prefer to stay with you.

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