Lying awake at 4am fretting about how long it’s taking to confirm a new piece of work, I was trying to remember my own rule 5 – the one that starts “it always takes longer to get work sorted out than you think it possibly can.” Looking up the actual quote this morning I was astonished at how breezily confident of getting new work I sounded a mere 7 months ago.
The need to re-focus the business was clear as soon as the scale of spending cuts in the public sector (where I’ve done most of my work for the past two years) emerged. It’s a time-consuming undertaking though, and not everyone took the hint.
Being prepared for cuts?
Pre- election I was talking to a 20-something AD at an agency with lots of public sector contracts and asked if she worried about what might happen when spending was cut. She looked at me with all the confidence of someone who’s never experienced a recession and said, as though speaking to the very hard of understanding: “If there’s a new government there will be changes in policy. Change always needs to be communicated. We’ll carry on working with the Department, just on different things.” The agency is now making a significant number of staff redundant. I genuinely hope she’s not one of them, she was very good at her job – but lots of people were caught in that trap and were just not prepared for what was coming.
Money saving tips
I’ve been doing some work recently on how the voluntary sector can cope with the impact of spending cuts – maybe that’s what’s making me pessimistic! A lot of the advice translates to any SME, so here are some resources that might be helpful
- NCVO’s excellent advice and resources for coping with cuts
- Third Sector Foresight (another NCVO source): guidance on the implications of economic downturn and how to be prepared
- Money saving tips from ACEVO‘s cutswatch ( specific to charities, but may spark some ideas)
- 50 ways to reduce your spending, from NCVO again – does exactly what it says…