Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) introduces his ninth blog on Infologue.com. Bob writes: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is significantly lowering its UK growth forecast for 2012 to 0.2% and its warning that the risks from the eurozone debt crisis “continue to loom large” on top of it, lowering its expectations for the UK’s growth next year to 1.4%, from 2% previously. As a result I’ve been thinking about what a business needs to have in place to grow in times of economic downturn?
“One of the most important things is to have a strong brand. Without understanding where a business is positioned in the market how can it be clear of what it is offering and who to?
A strong vision is key to a strong brand identity but the vision has to be in line with what the market wants, meaning that as times change a business needs to adapt whilst not diluting its values.
“If your market was asked to describe your business what would be said about it? Is the perception the same as the reality? If it isn’t you’ve lost brand integrity and it is critical to re-evaluate to promote a clear identity and raise awareness of what differentiates your organisation from your competitors.
“Another way of staying ahead of your competitors is to diversify. The tough climate has changed the decision making process and the decision making unit; something we have experienced in the security industry.
“In responding to changing drivers you will continue to meet the needs of the market and as such remain on their buying list. I’ve found in our industry that changing risk profiles have had a significant impact, and our diversification into new markets and development of new products and services has complemented our core offering.
“Another way of looking at diversification is to consider it as innovation. Taking this approach to developing your proposition, working closely with clients to understand how their needs have changed, and how their purchasing drivers and behaviour has shifted keeps you relevant.
“One thing’s for sure in our current climate; to achieve growth you cannot rest on your laurels and must have a vision for the future. Even if you are the market leader, in competitive markets your competitors won’t be far behind you ready to replicate your successes in to their organisations.”