One of the many advantages of being a web designer in Nottingham is that you gain an insight into many different types of businesses. How they work, how they function and how they are run. It also allows me to see what it is about businesses that are successful as well as seeing what pitfalls to avoid by seeing fromt he inside a business which is failing.
The inspiration for this article came from the fact that I was thinking about how the current recession began. I am going back before the point that the banking industry started to collapse. Somebody had realised that the assets of many of the banks including those we previously thought to be stable had "toxic" investments. The re-packaging of extremely dodgy mortgages as "high risk investment opportunities" had infected the entire world banking sector with a poison. Suddenly, somebody had realised what had happened and the collapse fo the world banking system began to be predicted.
For months, the news was full of doom and gloom, even though nothing had really happened yet. Everybody was talking about what was about to happen and all the talk was extremely pessimistic. The negative reporting was relentless until we reached the point where the unthinkable happened and the "credit crunch" as it would become known finally started to kick in.
Which brings me to the question I wish to raise in this article.
I know the arguments are going to be that businesses could not withstand the collapse of the banking system nor could they survive without the finance from these banks as loans were now hard to come by. However, consider this point:
Despite the size of the banking collapse, the economy as a whole shrank by only a small percentage each year.
Apart from some specific industries like the construction industry, most businesses only saw a small downturn in turnover. Even within the construction industry, the businesses which failed were either those that were dependent upon one or a very small number of very big clients or those that did not have a great reputation. A builder who I know and who has an excellent reputation for high quality work and integrity has remained very busy throughout this recession.
The most exciting thing I am hearing from many businesses at the moment is that after these years of doom and gloom, business leaders are starting to show a little optimism. It is this, I believe, that is going to bring the economy back to where it should be.
I do not believe in magic nor do I believe in miracles but I do believe in the power of positive thinking. I have seen businesses respond to the recession in different ways but there is one type of response that always seems to work. And it is this:
These business owners are never satisfied with where their business is right now. Even during the good times, they never stop, I emphasise, they never ever stop, looking for changes they can make that might improve business. Is there something they can do faster, cleverer or slicker? Is there some new way of marketing? Should they change anything in their company's image? Are there any new products and/or services they can offer? Are there any improvements they can make to the services and products they already offer?
I have several customers who behave like this and without exception, they are all very successful and their success remained unabated througout the "credit crunch".
So I think it is time that we all now started to think positively. If every business tried its best to improve constantly, we could be out of this recession in such a short period of time. The politicians can do what they want to but it is the business leaders who are going to bring our economy to where it should be.