Good advice for the recession

The prospects
  • There will be little sign of recovery until 2011, then recovery will be rapid. (Roger Martin-Fagg - economist, GCA)Wealth needs to fall by 45% compared to two years ago. We are going back to where capital values were six years ago. Unemployment will reach 3 million. (Roger Martin-Fagg - economist, GCA)It will be tough. (Roger Martin-Fagg - economist, GCA)
Winning in turbulent times
  • Whatever you put your attention to will grow, whether it is problems or possibilities. Focus on the possibilities and they will grow. Focus on the problems and they will grow. (Nigel Barlow - creative coach, GCA)Your attitude is all important. Your chances of success are improved if you show trust in your business and have faith in your staff and believe it will be a fantastic year! (Nigel Barlow - creative coach, GCA)Truly understand your customers. You must keep talking to them and keep advertising during a recession. (Jo Fairley – Founder Green & Blacks, GCA)Scotts MiracleGro are backing their belief that the industry is well placed in the recession by maintaining their advertising spend at £6.3m. Early sales of seed potatoes show that many households will be trying "grow your own". (Keith Boad – Sales Director Scotts UK, GIMA)It's all about your ability to make your staff feel special, and your passion. We will look back on 2009 and say either it was the year that made you or it was the year that broke you. (Ellis Watson – CX of John Menzies, GCA)Be resilient. Simplify your business structure, make decisions quickly, and remember: "We overestimate the power of what we say and underestimate the power of what we do." (Nigel Barlow - creative coach, GCA)Almost anyone can sell gifts and furniture. Only good garden centres are successful selling plants and gardening products. In a recession this is where you need to be. They account for 63% of turnover at Scotsdale. (Caroline Owen – CX Scotsdale Garden Centre, GIMA)Garden centres need value driven promotions, single low-priced lines rather than 2 for 1 or ‘bogof’ deals. (Caroline Owen – CX Scotsdale Garden Centre, GIMA)If you are having a positive impact on your community, shout about it! You may be sourcing locally or helping a customer project. The local media will pick up on it. (Jo Fairley – Founder Green & Blacks, GCA)Philip Green's philosophy is that successful companies have parties, while unsuccessful companies have meetings. (Nigel Barlow - creative coach, GCA)Garden centre owners should eat in their own restaurant. “Le Patron manges ici”. If your restaurant provides 20% of profits, you should give it 20% of your time. (Chris Brown - Turpin Smale, GCA)Do you give your restaurant manager a bonus on food and labour costs? Enlightened cafes will move the same way as retailers with automated tills and fewer staff. (Chris Brown - Turpin Smale, GCA)
Financial wisdom
  • Cash is king in a tough market. Debtors must be pursued vigorously. Involve the bank at all times, because it will back a company that it believes is doing everything to protect its cash position. (Jonathan Halford, CX Forest Garden, GIMA)Change your overdraft into a fixed term loan before the bank removes it. (Roger Martin-Fagg - economist, GCA)If necessary cut your cloth now to be ready for the recession. But keep your staff informed of what you're doing. (Jonathan Halford, CX Forest Garden, GIMA)
The environment
  • Saving carbon offers opportunities as well as saving costs. Businesses must move from a position of "carbon unknown" to a position of "carbon managed" where the carbon footprint is measured, before they can advise consumers on saving carbon. (Anthony Turner – CarbonSense, GCA)In future businesses will move to biomass heating using woodchips. The technology is moving very fast and garden centres should lead the way. In Austria the technology already outsells oil. (Anthony Turner – CarbonSense, GCA)
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