Hard Times At Carsonified, Or How To Survive The Downturn


By Jemima Kiss: Carsonified, the fathers of the massive Future of Web Apps event among others, made three people redundant last week, not “emergency cuts”, as founder Ryan Carson explained on the company blog today. “It was a pre-emptive decision that will give the company plenty of what Jason Calacanis calls ‘Runway’ – cash to see us through slow times,” he wrote, adding that the three staff he made redundant all asked Carson to blog about it in the hope it would help them find work.

Carson went on to give some pretty blunt advice about surviving the recession, whether you’re a staffer, entrepreneur or freelance – make sure you’re making money for the firm, have profit-generating ideas and volunteer to take on extra work.

“Unfortunately, even if you’re working hard on the above three points, sadly there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to keep your job. Sometimes your company just doesn’t have enough time to allow you to build up levels of revenue or value and they will have to make a tough decision,” wrote Carson.

If you’re running the business, you need to cut costs. That could mean selling the company car, as Carson did (he now cycles to work), renting out desks in your office, booking tickets in advance and looking for discounts, swapping suppliers to save money and clamping down on expenses.

More recession-surviving tips are to plan for a 20 percent decrease in revenues but improving cashflow by asking for 50 percent in advance from clients, diversifying into other strong, relevant areas for your business and taking extra care with your customers. “Send them thankyou and birthday cards, call them, send them a personal gift and remember their partner’s or kids’ names.”

Carson took some flack for this post because he’d said on Twitter that there were tears in the office when he had to make the redundancies. It’s a brave move to be totally open about these kind of decisions, isn’t it? Do you agree with his advice, or do you think he should have handled the situation differently?

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..

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