Act Like You Are in an Economic Crisis!


Crisis © by Neil T

There is no doubt that we are in for a very lengthy economic downturn with any green shoots immediately eradicated by the very effective weed killer – the financial sector.

We have almost resigned ourselves to the fact that if our currency depreciates or the gold price drops (amongst others) we are in for more tough times. We throw our hands up in defeat when we hear about the Euro zone or US debt crisis as if this is the reason why we are struggling as businesses.

Sure, these are legitimate reasons why we would experience some slow down in our business, but the reality is that the current debt crisis is just a catalyst accelerating our poor business habits – which for me are the real reasons we are in an economic meltdown.

We are already in the mode of preparing for our year-end holidays.
People are more interested in planning for their vacation than they are in doing business and have started procrastinating on key issues, rather deferring them to ‘next year’.

What is really scary is that this culture of slowing down for the end of the year has started to creep back as far as October!

Next year by the way only starts in the middle of January, so by the time everyone has eased their way back into their work, it’s February before any real decisions are made.

We effectively write off three months of every year because of the traditional end of year shut down. It gets worse! Aside from the Easter and July holidays, we have far too many public holidays.

A public holiday may only be for a day at a time, but many people take advantage of the ‘long weekends’ they result in if they take selective days off to coincide with the public holiday. Knock off another month for this and we end up with a net eight month productive year.

It is no surprise for me that it takes many months for even the simplest of decisions to be made. If the decision making process is slow, so is the profit making process. Company CEO’s are far too quick to ‘cut costs’ to improve the bottom line but very few seem to notice the haemorrhaging of business taking place because of our eight month year!

Another reason for our poor business performance is that despite the seriousness of the situation, companies simply don’t appear to want to do business!

Right now I am in the market to buy some 45 vehicles for my fleet.
I initially approached three manufactures with my needs and only one has come back with concrete action. One of the companies that I approached was Citroen. I initially contacted a dealer with my requirements, but have heard nothing from them.

To be more proactive, I decided to try and make contact with the Sales Director of Citroen via my favourite (and most effective networking platform) LinkedIn. I was met with utter arrogance from the gentleman concerned who was more concerned about the fact that I had dared to contact him than with the reason for my contact.

In fact, we never even got to the reason he was so aloof with my attempted contact. Given that Citroen battle to sell 200 units a month in South Africa (a figure most high volume dealerships achieve alone), I would have thought that the Sales Director would have jumped at the opportunity to engage me.

It’s no wonder really that we are in a crisis. We spend half of the year on holiday and the other half looking forward to it, with very little business in between. Then there is the unbelievable lack of urgency with most people to just get the job done!

My message to corporates: it’s time to Vuka (wake up)! You only have yourselves to blame for the mess we are in.

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One Comment

  1. Jonathan says:

    “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
    The lady in the video is offering an online keyword lesson:

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