BUSINESSMAN Pritpal Singh has revealed his recipe for success – in a bid to help other firms battle the recession.
Mr Singh, who owns 23 McDonald’s restaurants in Yorkshire – including the outlet at Kirkgate in Huddersfield – said: “Running a small or medium-sized business has many benefits – from being your own boss to watching your team and enterprise grow in strength and stature.
“But with an unpredictable year ahead, it is crucial that business owners can adapt swiftly and review their operations.”
McDonald’s has proved resilient in the face of the recession – lifting European sales by 71% in January, announcing plans to create 4,000 jobs and investing in a new look for its restaurants and staff uniforms.
Mr Singh, who has 25 years experience in business said he had fought through previous recessions – the last time being in the late 1990s.
But he said: “The difference between now and then, certainly for our business, is the increased commodity prices today.
“Due to global demand, food prices are higher now than they have been for many years, making it harder from a profitability point of view.
“This coupled with the increasing utility prices that all businesses are experiencing, has a compound effect on the profitability of businesses.”
Mr Singh said companies should keep a daily check on sales trends, explaining: “It allows us to spot the early signs of a downturn or change in consumer behaviour and adapt swiftly.
“Firms should stimulate sales through promotional offers to keep customers confident in spending. But it’s important to track the impact on sales and reduce promotional offerings once the desired stimulation has occurred. Sustained, quick thinking and action is key.”
When times get tough, companies should review their pricing structure and the efficiency of their equipment, lighting, heating and ventilation systems to try and reduce energy costs.
Mr Singh said: “We believe that we should always kick-start sales before looking at reducing staffing levels – it’s important to have the best staff when times get busier again so investing in training is important.”
He said owners should communicate with their managers to create an effective team.
He said: “These teams are developed not just in times of economic downturn but when times are good.
“If we can work on creating good robust systems of work and operation during the good times, businesses will be better prepared for the bad times.”