I’ve been walloped by the GFC. Retreat or advance?

Dear Aunty,

First an apology to you personally, as I was one of the disbelievers who wrote in and told you that everything was hunky dory and to stop being so doomsday.

The reason I am writing is that we are an entrepreneurial company that has found a great niche making the transition from small to medium when the GFC hit us like a freight train in April. We were setting up all these processes in place and hiring extra staff when ‘WHAM!’ we got walloped, at a time when we thought we were going to get through untouched.

My question to you is, do we retreat as quickly as possible and try again next year or do we stick to the game plan and prey the market comes back? I am satisfied my long-term vision for the business is sound and by this time next year we will be a medium size company!

Gold Coast


Hi LT,

Neither. Why retreat when you have done the hard work? But neither can you put your head in the sand, fingers in your ears, shut your eyes and hope your survive.

What you need is a bit of a hybrid to get you through the current crisis. You need to put in place short-term measures while keeping your eye on the processes and systems that need to be put in place in order to make the leap. That can be tricky and confusing for staff. But if you keep reiterating the long-term vision and help staff understand your short-term plan, they will buy in.

Make sure that the processes going into place do not slow up staff in any way. Competitors in this environment are aggressively carving up sales territories any which way they can, so the niche you took for granted now needs aggressive action.

Whatever you do while making the transition, constantly check there are no roadblocks in the way that will slow down staff. They need to beat the competition to the few opportunities arising in the marketplace.

Good luck,
Your Aunty B


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