Ten Questions to ask During a Recession

If your organisation is facing a difficult time during the current downturn then here are some questions to ask at your next executive meeting.

  1. Are we doing all that is necessary in order to survive?

I guess that is the question that you are already sharply focussed on.  So we will not go into all the ancillary questions and issues that go with it.  Needless to say, survival is the number priority for most businesses during a recession.

But you should also find time to consider what is going to happen beyond the recession and how you might profit.  Here are some questions to ask which will lead to potential innovations and opportunities.

  1.   What is our added value?
  2.   Why do customers choose us?  What makes us different?
  3.   What problem do we solve for customers?
  4.   In what new ways could this problem be solved?
  5.   What new problems will customers have in the future?
  6.   What changes in customer behaviour and needs might there be in the future?
  7.   What big assumption are we making about our business which might no longer be true going forward?
  8.   What changes can we make to product or service to make it simpler, cheaper or easier to use?
  9.   What entirely new product or service could we sell to existing customers?
  10.   How would a dynamic new start-up solve our customers’ problems with new technologies and a new route to market?

A recession offers opportunities as well as hazards.  The world is changing fast and only the nimble will prosper.  Ask these questions, be open-minded, think laterally and be ready to place some smart bets.

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Paul Sloane

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