Rethinking Your Business Strategy: When And Why If you have been seeing consistent declines in revenues, then you need to rethink your strategy.

By Klaus Miserra

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In a recent article on planning for a recession in Harvard Business Review, the authors mentioned that by historical standards the current phase of economic expansion is long and the risk of recession rises with each passing month. In the Middle East, with the fluctuating oil prices, there are murmurs of businesses in trouble especially in the small business segment. So, how do you start recognizing the signs and preparing for this?

Typically, if you have been seeing consistent declines in revenues because of lower pricing, smaller contracts (in desperation of getting some income) leading to eroding margins on each deal, then you could well need to have a sit down and rethink your strategy and reach out for that life support. Sometimes making the smallest change can reap huge benefits.

Money and pricing
You should have finance processes in place that measure relevant indicators. This includes not just cash flow but also monitoring the influx of new business at the right price points. For example, on the sales side, you should have performance targets and indicators in place that can help you identify if your funnel is drying out. You need to observe if, to win business, you have to offer discounts, or if your competition is undercutting your pricing. You might need to take a step back and look at your value propositions and check that you receive money for the value you provide. Is your pricing strategy matching what you truly offer, are market demands changing, is competition undercutting your pricing?

Market dynamics
This is a key area that could drive this change. You need to ask yourself some very key questions and the answers could help you to derive a strategy that could help you survive and grow.

Are the number of opportunities you become aware of -and that you can win– decreasing? If so, is this because of geo-political or general economic reasons or because there are new market entrants- do you have more competition for the same segments? Has your offering lost attraction for your target customers or are you aiming at the wrong customers? In other words, are you misreading customer needs?

In today's dynamic business world of ever-growing interconnectedness, a sneeze in the US could cause flu in the Middle East – it is imperative to continuously observe and evaluate and work on your business to ensure that it stays on top of trends and remains relatable to not just your existing customers but new ones as well.

Related: The Year Ahead: A Viewpoint On Accelerating Entrepreneurial Ambitions In The UAE

Klaus Miserra

Director of Consulting at grow.ME

Klaus Miserra is Director of Consulting at grow.ME, a Dubai based global development consultancy, and co-founder of Women-able, a regionally funded business skilling and growth program for women. He has extensive global executive commercial experience in multiple industries and sectors, including banking, IT, aviation and financial services.

For the last five years, as co-founder of Women-able, Miserra has focused on women entrepreneurship programs in Middle East and Africa, including RoÝa and Women-able with partners MasterCard, Cherie Blair Foundation and JP Morgan. In the corporate and government world, he specializes in coaching and mentoring senior executives at the highest level across a multitude of organizations, regionally and internationally. And he enjoys staying in touch with the academic world and is currently an adjunct lecturer for a Master in Economic Psychology program for Applied Management at two Universities in Germany.

Klaus was an Entrepreneur in Residence at UAEU Science and Innovation Park (SIP), awarded the MBR award for the Best University Entrepreneurship Program in 2017.

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