The Fresh Egg blog

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Allan Bisset

Just had a very interesting meeting with Denise Attrell, general manager of RAM Pumps, who made a very similar point later spookily raised by our very own Ammon Johns.  It’s not the fall, it’s the sudden stop that’s killing off companies! The hardest bit is not shrinking to meet current circumstances, it’s coming out of the recession and gearing up for the recovery.  The entirely understandable reaction of many on and offline businesses has been to downsize ambition, aspiration and operation as rapidly as possible to meet the new economic realities.  Surviving the recession means reducing headcount, cutting back resources, delaying expansion or implementation plans, slashing budgets.  That’s OK as far as a response to immediately straightened circumstances goes.

However, companies doing that  too aggressively run the risk of creating a platform that’s incapable of supporting  renewed activity when the upturn comes (as it will).  Reducing overhead by shedding staff now means you don’t have their skills when you need them again.  You’re not only haemorrhaging talent, you're leaking contacts and market knowledge that you’ll need for future growth.  Gearing up from a much reduced production or distribution base is even more difficult if you’ve dug yourself deeper into what seems to be a more affordable, albeit considerably smaller, hole at the time.  Even if you recognise that the time has come to start ramping up commercial activity again, you may lack the resources – physical, financial, or operational - to do it.

That’s certainly the case with companies looking at establishing an online presence.  Many, especially SMEs and start-up ventures, look to the Internet as their saviour.  The common (and more or less accurate) belief is that online is the only way to survive, let alone prosper, in the present economy.  That’s true, but when looking at budgets for a website those companies should always make an allowance for SEO as well as actually designing the site.  If you don’t, then it’s like spending a fortune on a TV ad but booking no air time to actually show it anywhere!

When planning for the upturn, always make an allowance for the optimisation of your Internet marketing activities.  That’s particularly true for new entrants because Google is taking anything up to six months now before it even pays attention, or assigns any credence, to brand new URLs. Timing your re-emergence into the market to allow sufficient space for SEO to do its work, and starting the optimisation campaign early enough so you can reap the full benefits when you (and the market) are  ready is essential.  So plan and budget for some sort of SEO when considering design or revamps of your website.  The two are inseparable.  And to ensure you are “Ready for Recovery” they should remain so!

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