The media is full of news about downsizing and layoffs across the world, especially in USA, Europe and recently in Japan. It is disconcerting, to say the least. Losing one’s job is something which nightmares are made of. From a company’s point of view also it a question of survival.
What about a small Indian company, like CommLab, most of whose customers are in these countries? How do we plan to cope or coping, for that matter?
For us, downsizing is never an option because we consider sacking our employees to cut down costs akin to a family asking some of its members to leave home because there isn’t much on the table! We are conservative and cautious when we take in a person or create a position. Once a person is taken in, he is with us in good times and bad times.
How do we then meet our expenses if the business starts drying up? Well, I remember a scion of a huge conglomerate saying that if we don’t have enough money, we don’t cook costly dishes but subsist on staples. We can have everything we need, if we accept that there are always alternatives. The resistance is therefore more mental and psychological. A manager always traveling first class finds it very difficult to travel second class; but he can, till the company tides over. When the company doesn’t raise the bogey of retrenchment or cuts in salaries, usually the employees show their appreciation by working harder and spending lesser of company’s resources. We can survive longer, if we decide to.
Recession is the best time for a company to get new business because your customers are also looking for ways and means of reducing their expenses. We offer our services at much lesser price than usual because we know that our customers will appreciate it and make good in the days to come. Will you not, if you are in their place?
This is also the best time to do some serious housekeeping – evaluating existing systems and procedures, training employees and a host of other “maintenance” activities which are “important but not urgent”. This is the best time to “sharpen our axes” and be ready for the slump to come to an end.
Business cycles are natural and inevitable. If we accept this fact, our brains can come up with numerous creative ways to survive and subsist during tough times. So recession is good news at CommLab.