The experts are writing about ways to help your business succeed in these unlikely times. With bank consolidation, the credit crunch is affecting access to money to small businesses. Companies that are used to bank floats to meet payroll or to finance accounts receivables for cash flow are finding that near impossible right now, which will cause lay-offs and closings.
First off, cut costs where you can. Secondly, start selling and increasing ARPU. Here's some advice from Tom Peters:
Work the damn phones. Keep working the damn phones.
Show up. Keep showing up.
Call clients and suppliers, ask them how things are going, and how you can help. This is not about sales (directly), but about "showing up"—taking time from your busy affairs to offer assistance of any sort.
Tom writes in another post about Getting back to Basics. You know, the Fundamentals.
"...because we failed to put people & service & listening to customers & making products that worked & doing-instead-of-talking & staying intimately in touch with "real stuff" at the top of our business agendas."
Next, GigaOm has an article, titled "How to Build a Financial Crisis-Proof Business" which boils down to "address product gaps left by large companies." Or deliver service that they do not. Be the best of breed to any Vertical you can.
You are going to have to work the phones like never before. Because, as Rich Tehrani notes,
In addition, a general theme in our markets and beyond is companies pausing more before signing contracts. There is more indecision than at any time I remember.... In my opinion, in order to counter this delay in contract signing, we have to work harder and/or smarter, making more sales calls and doing more marketing. Sales after all is a numbers game when all else is equal. Now is when companies who are good marketers will take share from those who are good engineers. It happens every time the economy slows and this time will be no exception.