When 2008 came, business changed.
Recessions do that.
They change things.
All of a sudden, my creative business’s black leather and chrome settees, in-house gym, underground cinema, football table and a pool table – looked a bit silly.
Because I had all of those things.
But no differentiated brand.
(Differentiated brands can do OK in a recession. Because they add value way, way above cost alone).
And I had no business plan as a working document.
No coherent marketing strategy.
And no cash reserves.
The world had hit ‘pause’.
But I couldn’t pause.
Because I had a £57,000 rent commitment.
And a £750,000 salary commitment.
But at least I had an underground cinema and pool table (etc.) right?
I had been sleepwalking.
For about 7 years.
And sleepwalking is only OK in a consistent environment.
In the real world, as opposed to calmness of deep sleep, there is no consistency.
Recessions come and go.
Key team members come and go.
Clients come and go.
So sleepwalking is dangerous.
In 2008 I was forced to wake up.
With a jolt.
To a brave new world.
I had to morph from ‘good manager’ to ‘really good leader’.
I’ll tell you what I did (literally overnight) in a story called SNAP at 50odd.co.uk.
And as for you.
If you are running a business right now.
That depends – fundamentally – on the status quo for its very survival.
So wake up.
Smell your lovely coffee machine.
Then check your business bank balance.
And if there is not enough cash in your business bank account to cover 6 month’s overhead.
(Assuming you know what 6 months overhead is).
And you have no high-level, current and considered brand, marketing and business plan.
Then one day soon, you – and the people who rely on you – could be in for a very rude awakening.