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The current economic meltdown has disturbed all prevailing business models. This is a worldwide problem, so all sectors should take note and plan carefully. The UK is said to entering a formal recession. Demand across many sectors and profession is lowering as people loose spending confidence. Banks are also nervous to lend and may tighten or withdraw certain lending criteria.

The international meltdown of world markets has lead to commercial lending criteria becoming increasingly more difficult.

Looking at robust systems in place for cash-flow control and careful monitoring of spending will have a good effect to removing financial wastage within the business. Try negotiating with suppliers for better terms of contract. It is surprising what may be saved in order to keep a customer happy.

It may be uneconomical staying for years with one supplier just because that is the way it was always done. Suppliers can become complacent. New players into the market may offer far better deals. Therefore shop around, notify the original supplier and tell them this is your intention they may well offer you a superior contract. Always get a minimum of three different quotes to compare the market.

Look at your energy consumption. Fuel and utilities costs have risen over 40% in under a year within the UK. There is a lot of government help and resources available in order for businesses to improve their energy usage. For example, just understanding how to read a commercial electricity bill can save the company potentially thousands of pounds.

Set a system to get your team involved with your project of energy management. For example, create a system for your team that is easy to follow and gets them behind the project. Perhaps create a competition of who can get the best results. Reward them for doing well and coach those who are struggling.

It is a common mistake to think that a fiscal reward carries most weight for team motivation. Not true, personal worth and genuine appreciation carries a higher weight as team members feel true worth for their input. Net result is a much higher output. Get the team behind you and you have the potential to make a great company. Customers, suppliers, lenders and competitors will all feel the effect of a strong team.

- By Pat Lee

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