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Practical advice for business
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Managing a business when economic conditions are tough

Managing a business is even more demanding when market conditions are tough or uncertain.

Planning can be difficult when your business, its customers and suppliers are faced with rising prices, falling sales, shrinking margins and cashflow problems. Redundancies and business failures further diminish market confidence while reduced orders and late payment can indicate problems within your market.

You cannot make your business completely bullet proof. However, there is action that you can take to help your business survive when economic conditions are tough. The first step is to carry out a 'health check', which enables you to identify your weaknesses and threats, as well as your strengths and opportunities. This will help you to:

  • minimise cost and maximise efficiency
  • keep your cashflow healthy
  • limit the risks your business faces
  • develop an effective survival strategy

This guide outlines what to look out for when economic conditions are tough and how to ensure your business runs effectively. It gives advice on how to assess performance, financial considerations, how to implement a risk strategy and where to get support.

Subjects covered in this guide

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Finance and grants


Managing a business when economic conditions are tough


Current section



Analyse the health of your business


Minimise cost and maximise efficiency


Keep your cashflow healthy


Limit the risks your business faces


Develop an effective survival strategy


Access sources of business support


Checklist - key tasks when economic conditions are tough


Here's how my business survived adverse trading conditions


Here's how I grew my business during a recession