10 Take advantage of the opportunities

What is the issue?

Strong companies can capitalise on and exploit adverse conditions. Businesses that are in good shape to ride the downturn have greater flexibility to invest and strengthen their position than others. They do not automatically hold back all investment programmes, sacrificing future growth because of current difficulties.

What do I need to be aware of?

Businesses need information in order to have a clear idea of investment opportunities, rates of return and risk levels. Required investment levels are likely to be lowered in a downturn due to reduced asset prices and reduced competition. In fact, structural change in an industry can be accelerated by a slowdown. Progressive players implement strategies that made sense all along, but may have been difficult to push through in the good times given the lack of internal pressure.

What questions should I be asking myself?

  • Which parts of the business generate the highest return on capital, and which the lowest? Would they benefit from additional growth capital or productivity investments?
  • Do I have a clear view of the portfolio of investment opportunities that I have in the pipeline, and an accurate assessment of their risk and reward profile?
  • Is this an opportunity to re-engineer my business to stay productive under new conditions?
  • Am I in a stronger position than my competitors to pursue step-change opportunities?
  • Do I understand the landscape of assets I would be interested in buying?
  • Do I know how competitors are being affected by the downturn and what they would now be prepared to consider?

How can PwC help?

Drawing upon a network of expertise and the experience of our professionals we help you consider business strategies, financing and operational activities, canvass employees and develop a stakeholder management process. Check the column on the right for details of who to contact and for further information.