TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - The current economic downturn is forcing private
companies to make difficult decisions to ensure short-term survival and
increase long-term opportunities. A new article released today by
PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Private Company Services group provides key
steps for business owners and managers to avoid knee-jerk decision-making and
focus on playing the long game.
"The decisions that private companies make now will determine how they
are positioned when the cycle turns," says Eric Andrew, national leader of
PwC's Private Company Services practice. "Companies need to be agile enough to
take advantage of the downturn's opportunities-and be among the strong
survivors in the long run."
To help private companies make good decisions during the downturn, Andrew
recommends these key steps to strategic agility.
- Begin with your strong core competencies. Consolidate your core
competencies and focus on all the business fundamentals that have
brought you success this far.
- Focus on solid cost controls. If you have good cost controls and
understand them well, you then have the flexibility to address short-
term threats and long-term opportunities.
- Identify your best customers, focus on them and reinforce your
relationships. Good customers reduce your vulnerability during a
downturn. Think about what is impacting your customers; look ahead
and behind to see how they are faring.
- Preserve and build your brand. Companies tend to cut back on
advertising and branding in a downturn. For companies with a strong
balance sheet, there's an opportunity to stand out even more-and
often at a discount.
- Protect your best employees. Companies that hold on to their best
employees during a downturn-and snatch up those who are being let go
by other companies in a panic-are going to be the ones with the
competitive edge in the war for skilled labour when better economic
- Have zero tolerance for subpar results. Resources and cash are
scarce. If you're not getting your desired performance, deal with the
The full article can be found in the "Let's Talk About" series of
articles at www.pwc.com/ca/businessinsights. This series of articles from
PwC's Private Company Services group helps business owners think about topical
issues and opportunities that can affect the performance of their business.
For more information on managing in a downturn, visit
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