Get a move on

Surviving a technical recession might be good for the ute-driving PM, but smart companies need to get moving on business development if they are to make the most of the short window of economic opportunity provided by the Treasurer.

Companies that have retained good sales and marketing teams will need to get them out on the road to confirm orders in the next six months, before that debt truck turns into a major force on business costs.

Glenn Stephens is already flagging that we have hit the bottom of the interest rate reductions and that like his mate Bernanke, he is watching the longer-term risks of an inflationary breakout and potential tax increases to cover the aging population.

Firms that laid off staff will become very predatory in the coming months, as they are prepared to pay more to poach ‘the best’, who are now looking for a bit more .

Only a third of small companies are planning to take on additional staff, half the number that had intended to grow prior to the GFC. So there will be a focus on picking off quality teams to make the most of the last half year of stimulus package sales, rather than take on a long-term commitment.

David Wakeley, the Australian Institute of Management’s chief executive in NSW and the ACT says: “Savvy employers are looking to attract, retain and motivate people. This may include putting in place a career development plan, complete with a formal training program, to give employees the skills they need to progress to the next level within the organisation.”

Small companies have been using performance-based pay plans as an incentive for their senior managers and salaried staff to help improve overall business performance, but have underperformed large companies in training budgets and succession plans.

Smart companies will appreciate that job satisfaction, engagement in the sales and marketing planning process, workplace flexibility and opportunities to gain new skills and assignments, provide a great an incentive as part of the effective reconstruction of the small business environment.

Michael Rennie, Managing Partner of McKinsey and Company in Australia, believes that assets for medium to large companies will be shaken loose in the coming months, as smart companies that have sound business development plans are attractive to private equity funds looking for real growth prospects.

Rennie says that this may come from financing distressed assets or providing finance to companies facing a more constrained capital market.

Research shows that private equity firms are successful in buying up steady companies, whose earning are about two thirds that of companies listed on public markets, with deals in the $100 to $150 million range.

Central bankers are encouraging banks to extend their loan books and put their foot on the accelerator, as the energy costs and commodity prices are impacted by the restoration of business confidence.

So now is definitely the time to begin the reconstruction of the enterprise or begin to consider exit strategies before the next bout of inflationary surge.


Dr Colin Benjamin
Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking Consultant
Marshall Place Associates,

Marshall Place Associates offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up a universe of new possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Contact: CEO Dr Jane Shelton, Phone +61 3 96400099   Email


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