The Squirrel Strategy

Leave a Comment
This year Destination Management Turkey (DMT) marks our 20th year of doing business in Turkey - through the political strife of the 90s, the economic boom of the past decade and into these current trying times. We've weathered the difficult years and flourished in the good with a sound financial reserve – aka the "squirrel strategy". 


What happens when you cannot see beyond the next few months or weeks – or, when natural or man-made adversities mitigate the value of the year-over-year data upon which you would normally base your current and future budgets? With ever fluctuating exchange rates, customer cancellations and non-existent future bookings how does one maintain their sanity – let alone preserve financial stability while retaining the most professional and well trained staff? The answer to both questions is to emulate Aesop’s fabled squirrel who toils and saves in the summer so as to be warm and well fed in winter.

We at DMT believe that the cornerstone of every company's financial success - and the key to our squirrel strategy - is knowing your CODB (Cost of Doing Business) and ensuring that enough reserves are available to operate successfully through all economic climates. While many companies like ours operate on a seasonal schedule, we've had to ensure that we’ve stored enough "nuts" to get us through several seasons.  However, just keeping those nuts buried is not quite adequate - we must vigilantly ration them to ensure that we retain the best quality employees, improve our marketing strategies and keep up with the current business trends during the low times. These tactics ensure that when the market turns around we’re ready to go with our customary level of professionalism, high quality service and exceptional customer care.

Doing business in Turkey has an added element – that of being a relationship-first style of economy where it's truly who you know that will make the difference between success and "almost, but-not-quite".  When someone is looking for a new business relationship they will ask friends, relatives and current business contacts for recommendations.  Thus, maintaining our well-established vendor relationships is important – not only to ensure that they are ready to take on our business at a moment's notice, but also to get a better feel of the business and political climate from those who know best. During those days when we are getting cancellations or have nothing on the horizon, meeting with our many experienced vendors over a glass of Turkish tea gives us a chance to improve these important relationships, exchange ideas,  build friendships, strengthen loyalties  and – basically – feel less alone in this industry. 

Getting through those "low seasons" takes planning, a positive but practical attitude and faith in the expression "what goes down must come up".  
Oh…and quite a few glasses of Turkish tea! 

By Karin Paquay – Managing Director of DMT Destination Management Turkey - Istanbul

photo credit: unknown

0 comments:

Post a Comment