BE SMART AND SURVIVE THE ECONOMIC CRUNCH

RESERVE Bank governor Tito Mboweni's announcement of the reduction of repo rates might have come as a relief to many but in reality we are still feeling the pinch.

While he confidently said the worst is behind us, there is still a great need to remain in "saving mode" to survive the current economic crunch.

Joyce Sudarkasa, pictured, managing director of Phetoho Management Consultants, says women are more likely to do better during this period than men.

"We are born survivors and are much more risk averse than men. We are socialised to take on much less risk than our male counterparts.

"Women, for instance, change jobs less frequently, they make more conservative investment choices and tend to seek long-term solutions in challenging economic times," Sudarkasa told a Sowetan Women's Club gathering held in Johannesburg last Thursday.

Sudarkasa advises the following to survive the crisis.

MAXIMISE RESOURCES AND MINIMISE COSTS

In the workplace

Fully utilise staff, cross-train to maximise operating efficiency and increase productivity.

At home

Empty cupboards before you go shopping. Return to comfort meals at home.

Forgo expensive beauty products and luxury items for "old trusted" remedies.

FOCUS ON PRIMARY OBJECTIVES

In the work place

Focus on core operations and don't diversify in this climate since resources for product or service development and business development are limited.

At home

Focus on the priority of family and friends, focus on the time spent rather than rands spent!

Invite people over to watch a DVD rather than for an expensive dinner out.

"Home life can be very rewarding, even on a budget," she says.

PROTECT INVESTMENTS AND PRESERVE ASSETS

At work

Protect resources invested in ongoing projects and customer relationships. Maintain excellent service levels and preserve contacts through consistent communication and feedback.

At home

Look after assets, diligently maintain vehicles.

Prolong useful life of furnishings and electronics, restore personal items by cleaning and repairing timeously.

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