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Thursday, 19 July 2012

How are many firms dealing with the recession? Nothing seems a popular option. Why not take Sir Francis Bacon's advice?

What are firms doing about the recession? I suspect many are hiding under the bedclothes and hoping it'll go away. Or maybe they're like this deer.

I get this impression from one fact and one observation.

The fact is this.

Firms are sitting on big piles of cash and doing nothing with it. As Sir Francis Bacon remarked in an essay, "Money is like muck. Not good except it be spread."

It is a cliché that the best time to act is when all your competitors aren't.

That is the case in a recession. Your money will get you better deals. You will have a greater share of voice.

And so on. Boring, boring, boring - except that this simple lesson seems lost on those who should have it off by heart.

The observation I refer to confirms what the effects of the fact are.

The other day I went to a big do at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which I shall write about when my hangover recedes and I am less mystified.

I spent a little time talking to a colleague who, like me, built a big direct marketing agency in the days back when and sold it for (I hope for his sake) loadsamoney.

I asked him how things were. "Tricky. Clients say they're going to do things but keep delaying and very often end up doing nothing," he replied lugubriously. 

Those piles of cash are losing value every day.

Put them to work.

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We are trying to move everyone with us automatically, but my experience is that in Cyberspace everything that can possibly go wrong will.

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