By all means cut costs…

Posted on: November 26th, 2013 by Staffan Engstrom

I sometimes think of my business career as a bit like flying a Sopwith Camel in WW1. There are times when everything seems to be going so well. You have hit your targets, you are confident, and you are stretching to the future. It is joyous, the vision of continuous success and glory stretches before you.

Then you notice that you have a red Fokker Dr. I Triplane on your tail… the Red Baron made 80 ‘kills’ in less than 18months of flying.

This happened to a Sopwith Camel piloted by a novice Canadian pilot, Lieutenant May of the Royal Air Force in April 1918. However, the Baron von Richthofen was spotted and attacked by another Camel piloted by a school friend of May’s, Canadian Captain Arthur Brown, who had to dive steeply at very high speed to intervene, and then had to climb steeply to avoid hitting the ground. Richthofen turned to avoid this attack, then resumed his pursuit of May, but was subsequently killed by Brown with a bullet through the heart and lungs.

Sometimes in business things can unexpectedly go really pear-shaped. These are times when you have to take some radical avoiding action, such as cutting costs fast to achieve the numbers and to give you the margin of error to live to fight another day. BUT YOU MUST RESTART APPROPRIATE LEVELS OF INVESTMENT.  The alternative is called many things, but ‘Finance Director Marketing’ may give you an idea of the kind of thing that I mean.

Like Captain Brown, you must pull out of the dive or pay the price…