Thriving Through the Downturn: Business Model

This blog post is part of a series titled Thriving Though the Downturn: Eleven Strategies that will make your Company Boom.

Examine your entire business model. Rethink what you are doing. Look at your competitors. Your competitor might be about to go out of business and you could acquire them, their customers, staff, and technology for next to nothing. Can you aggressively go after your competitors? Eric Winsborrow, Chief Marketing Officer of Layer 7 Technologies, made this observation. “They (competitors) are reeling too, and are less likely to launch a counter-attack if you take the offensive. Hit them when they are down and have controlled aggression and you might actually do well in this downturn.”

What adjacent markets can you target with minimal changes to your existing products or services? Can you change the way you charge or deliver your products? Charge monthly, instead of yearly? Sell something that you used to rent? Let creative thinking and innovation lead you to think of everything inside and outside the box. Change is at hand, so use new ways of thinking to find new ways to do your business.

Joe Timlin, VP Investments IT, GrowthWorks Capital, provides an interesting perspective on the capital intensive industries. “There might be capital intense projects (chip, hardware, systems) that are now in the market with their 1st or 2nd generation products. These companies need to understand that capital is going to be expensive like it will be for anyone else, but also that there is unlikely to be any fast followers chasing the same opportunity they are going after because of the scarcity of capital out there to fund it. I do not believe there will be a lot of new semi companies funded in the next few years for example. Companies positioned optimally have the opportunity to take it all….or at least a lot of the market if they get it right. They will have unique access to partners and channels, and will likely be among the first considered in any exit scenario. These companies might consider carefully stepping on the gas: the world has conspired to create a situation where they alone have the opportunity to benefit substantially in a modest timeframe and as so often is the case the spoils accrue to the courageous.”