"They" say everything will get better in the coming year. Wouldn’t that be nice? In the meantime, the economics of immediate term life are upside down. Companies with deep pockets will soon have shallow pockets. Companies without deep pockets are filing for bankruptcy and wondering what to do next if they haven’t already locked in to a bankruptcy specialist who can tell them about all the yummy options that can be contemplated in a bankruptcy mode.
The extreme economic forces can’t be thwarted even by the largest companies. The lucky ones started hedging everything a few years ago, especially in any petro-dependent business segment, like airlines. Most have not really tuned in to what must now be faced in the immediate term.
As a consequence, many management groups are stressed to the limit, wondering how they will be able to keep their good business enterprises afloat.
Many executory contracts didn’t provide for the kinds of escalators that are now needed. Fulfillment of contracts is now in crisis mode in many instances. There is not sufficient cushion for the next eighteen months.
You can’t just stand around wringing your hands right now. Now is the time to start meeting with vendors and customers and everyone else whose own predicament can affect your ability to operate. You must think of yourself as the man in the middle, and start working both ends of the chain to attempt accommodations. Accommodations, even slight ones, may well be the magic bullet that keeps you alive through this economic tsunami.
Are you adept at sorting out accommodations? Accommodations negotiations are not to be confused with whining/lamenting your circumstances. Everyone today has their own troubles, and they don’t want to hear about yours. How are you going to address accommodations with your vendors and customers?
The best practices for accommodations negotiations include the absolute necessity to provide consideration for all accommodations. If you are willing to give ground on issues that you don’t really want to consider in good times, you can come up with really good accommodations wampum.
But you have to think outside the present tense. There is probably little that you can offer in the present tense. There is a great deal more if future tense adjustments and relationship reconfiguration is put on the table.
There are also structural options in this mix. The three pigs had to move into the brick house to keep the wolf from eating them up. If you think of how you and your co-dependents (vendors and customers) can use brick to create safety assets, structurally as well as in relationships, the accommodation options become even greater.
Don’t be shy about getting help in the configuring and doing of these emergency/crisis exercises. There’s no free lunch in the best of times, and certainly not now. Getting to work on it now is better than getting with it later. Time is always of the essence in crisis mode.