Here is some great insight from leaders in the Canadian business world (not just technology either) about succeeding in times of economic uncertainty. It includes some information from Eric Gales, our VP of SMS&P at Microsoft Canada.

It was written by Erin Bell with ConnectIT Canada. Read the full piece here.

Whenever there are economic challenges such as the current downturn, SMBs need to focus on three things: cash flow, core competency, and customers. That was the message presented at an industry roundtable hosted by Microsoft Canada that explored ways for SMBs to not only weather the economic storm, but seize on the opportunities it has created.

…Piccoli suggested software implementation as an example of a project that companies could undertake during the slowdown: "My experience with software implementation, is that it's really time consuming for your managers," he said. "There's no better time than now, when things are slow, to take on projects like that."

…According to Parris, these are the pieces of business plan information that companies should be scrutinizing:

  • Managing overhead -- Cash is king. What can be trimmed or delayed? Where are the big costs and what can the company do about them?
  • Getting close to your client -- Drill down and see who your most important clients are. Are they paying well? If not, why not?
  • Maintain your banking relationships -- "There's nothing worse than a surprised banker," Parris said. "If you're seeing cracks, or opportunities, involved your banker. Stay close to your banker and your advisors, because it will guarantee future success."
  • Invest in your company's reputation -- "Your company's reputation is gold, and it will help you in the future because if you let your reputation fall, it's very hard to get it back."
  • If you can afford it, invest in technology.
  • Look at your talent and expand it -- "Six months ago it was really hard to recruit good people because they were all taken up and expensive. Now there are people available, and they might be cheaper, and they might have skills that SMBs can capitalize on."

Have a great weekend,

Satish Kanwar
Breadth Channel Development
Microsoft Canada

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