I feel that this year has been tough for all of us. Maybe I should have said, it has been tough for most of us. The company of one of my clients grew 300 % in the last 12 months. An international company who was interested in acquiring the shares of another client of us went bankrupt, selling its machinery to our client. Some people had it going better for them as in these examples.
Most economies except China, India and some few others shrinked. Say, an economy decreased by X% in comparison to the previous year, then on the average each company had a turnover this year which was X % less than the turnover in 2008. Knowing that X is a small number, this shouldn’t have had such a high impact. However, please remember that we are talking about averages. Some companies could turn the crisis into an opportunity for growth. Some others though had to go through some serious losses in turnover and/or profits.
When I consider my past businesses, I see that an above the average growth occured in each of my companies during the periods of economic crisis (Turkey was one of the countries where you could get a lot of experiences in crises.). We also know that many well known companies went bankrupt during such periods. We can observe that on one hand crises create opportunities while they also clean the market.
I do not know whether this crisis will be finally “U”, “L” or “W” shaped. However, I am sure that we need to work harder in 2010 either not to lose the opportunities of growth or not to sink the ship.
You might say “that’s all good and fine… talking from outside of things. What have you done in 2009?”. We have added Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey as markets for our services and thus have utilized 2009 as a year for investment. We put growth strategies in place, which had given good results in the previous crises we had lived through. We have been working on our first project in Romania for the last two months. We believe that we will get our first project in Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2010.
If you are the owner or a partner of an SME, you might consider putting new aims for your company now that we are coming to the end of 2009. It could be that 2010 is the year for you to grow your business with a new partner. I am sure that in 2010 you will need to look for ways of broadening your business with or without a new partner and whether the economic crisis continues or not.
I can only wish for all of you to have 2010 as a year for realizing your dreams and your aims …