How did you survive the recession?

navigating the storm

It looks like we have come through the recession and things are finally improving – it was a rough, tough, bumpy ride but we got there!

As things start to improve the horrible memories will fade into the past but hopefully the valuable lessons we learnt will stay with us and we will be stronger for them.

In our industry we were particularly vulnerable as many businesses totally shut down on their positive spend and investment in Marketing and PR was deemed by many as unnecessary in tough times. Budgets were slashed and at the beginning of 2009 we lost a lot of good accounts. On top of this we suffered a lot of bad debts, which was really hard to carry.

Thankfully we dug in and we survived and we managed to come through this challenging period without losing any staff, without having to reduce wages – in fact it was the opposite. We managed to grow our business and we took on extra staff and we opened an office in Dublin.

Personally I took a lot of inspiration from a book I read called ‘Storming the Recession‘.

In my view we survived the recession because of a few things:

  • We did our best to stay deliberately positive at all times
  • We worked hard at keeping our team motivated and protected them from tax increases
  • We used social media extensively to boost our awareness and promote our services
  • We looked for and grabbed unique opportunities, which only occur in tough times
  • We kept our pricing competitive at all times
  • We made sure we delivered for our clients – their budgets are precious and it is essential their investments are wise ones
  • We looked for extra ways to deliver value for clients including embracing new media enabling them to connect with customers in new ways
  • We diversified our services and started to run training courses in PR and Social Media – most of these were done in the evening and the extra income really helped. These courses also helped to increase our network and awareness
  • We absolutely worked our socks off punching in incredibly long hours – we thought recession would mean less work!!

There were times when things were really tight and very worrying but we always seemed to just about get through. Maybe we were lucky but then again maybe you make your own luck?

This was a unique time that no doubt will come again and is important that when that happens we remember how we coped the last time round, which is why I am forcing myself to write this!

What did you do to survive the recession?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

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6 Responses to “How did you survive the recession?”

  1. Damien Browne (@damienbrowne) Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Good article, I have been lucky enough to get through this recession, but as you know many private businesses have not.
    There is a two tier recovery or one section on the way back and one not. Dublin 2,4,6 and some other well off enclaves, Galway City, some parts of Cork City, Kinsale, Killarney and Dingle are enjoying a rising tide, but I can assure you the vast majority of Ireland is completely destroyed.

    I am a glass half full merchant but I get bloody annoyed when I hear of politicians talking about the recovery and “smart” economy.
    FDI is booming and a lot of Irish exporters are doing well too. The domestic economy is in tatters, there is a whole generation that have left the country over the past 7 years, the 25 to 35yr olds, the ones that buy new homes, cars, fmcg and high end clothes etc that spending generation are gone.

    FDI is good in the short term, but it is transient and bad over the long term. The field needs to be leveled and the same or more effort put into the domestic economy but long term planning in Ireland is a pipe dream as it doesn’t deliver jobs today ie before next election.

    Best Regards
    Damien Browne

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Great post Damien – what did you do to survive it? We need to gather these lessons and nuggets of wisdom for another time that will come. Greg

  2. Damien Browne (@damienbrowne) Says:

    Cut costs to the bone, cut off the fat, engaged early.

  3. Damien Browne (@damienbrowne) Says:

    Yes everything for 4 years until 2012, then I eased off when bad debts stopped and rents stabilised. My business has survived but its growth rate is small. I started a new business earlier this year, the product is a device for facilities management in the US market, so far so good.

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