A couple of weeks ago I set out some ideas for leading through a downturn. I’ve also been thinking about how businesses can reset their strategy and trading priorities to grow when the economy and their markets aren’t.

The obvious response to declining markets is to cut costs and protect profits. The quickest and easiest costs to cut – advertising, marketing, training, recruitment – generally come first and receive the most management attention.

While cost-cutting is likely to be necessary, the evidence of past downturns shows that it isn’t enough. Instead, the companies that do best through and beyond downturns balance effective cost management with selective investments for growth – in their brand, their capabilities and their reach.

The message is clear: while your rivals are busy battening down the hatches, you can win in your market if you’re also improving your top-line sales and your competitive position during the downturn.

I’ve recently written a white paper – How To Grow In A Downturn – that gives you 9 practical ideas to do just that. What steps are you taking to grow when your market isn’t?

Off The Record: Tonight, The Streets Are Ours by Richard Hawley

Those people they got nothing in their souls

And they make our TVs blind us

From our vision and our goals

Oh, the trigger of time it tricks you

So you have no way to grow

But do you know that

Tonight, the streets are ours