Right now and more than ever, our mission needs to be the provision of practical strategies and timely information to protect and prepare businesses as we slide into a recession. With that in mind, here are 10 Recession-Busting Tips for advisors, business owners, and CFOs:
1. Re-Evaluate Your Business Model
The way you work has to change, so seize the opportunity to make changes for the better!
By now, you’ve probably had to reconsider and revise how your business operates, to fit with the global change in circumstances. But change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Take some time to re-evaluate your business model, really get to the heart of why you do what you do, and ask yourself if there are ways that you can do it better.
2. Ensure Your Team is Optimised and Ready for the ‘New Normal’
Take care of your team, so they can take care of business. Keeping your team healthy, motivated, and adaptable to change is key to the vitality of your business. If you have to make hard decisions to keep the business afloat, make them early. If you have people willing to step up into leadership roles, let them shine—the more your team is on your side, the better your chances of success.
3. Get Time With Your Accountant or Advisor
There are a number of services your accountant or advisor could (should) offer you right now. First and foremost, if you’re a business owner, you’re going to need a cashflow forecast. If you’re an accountant, you should be providing one to every business client.
Business owners: ask your accountant for help with tax planning, government packages, and compliance and relief strategies. Chances are, this isn’t the first recession they’ve worked through, and they might have game-changing insights.
4. Understand Government Assistance Schemes
Most governments are offering financial aid to get local businesses through these stormy waters. Not all of it will be applicable to you, but make sure you conduct a thorough investigation, so you don’t miss out. If possible, ask your accountant/advisor for help with research and applications.
5. Constructive Communication With Customers
Everyone could use a friendly face and voice from outside their constricted network right now. Relationships rekindled under duress are likely to last well beyond bad times.
6. Talk to Your Bank and Stakeholders
If necessary, reconfigure and renegotiate. What debt options are they offering? Can they help you with governmental schemes? Are they willing to renegotiate existing debt, and offer you better rates? Are they a source of capital now, or will they be in the future? What expertise can they offer?
7. Dive Into Your Numbers, Seek Insight
Your numbers are your vital signs. Take your data and create useful forecasts and scenarios: what does good, bad, and ugly look like for the future? Your numbers will illuminate problems, opportunities and threats. Monitor, analyse, debate and then make the best decisions.
8. Update Strategy and Direction
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to be thinking about how your decisions and the societal and economic winds of change will impact your business in the future. Create a list of priorities and actions, and make sure there’s a balance between urgency and intent.
Then take a moment to think about longer term goals. What are the top three objectives for the next one year, three years? Maybe it’s all about survival right now, but recessions don’t last forever. How will you come out on top?
9. Double Your Support Networks
Reach out to old friends, and make new ones. Seek new or renewed relationships, expanded networks, and sources of advice and inspiration that will sustain and guide you on the journey ahead.
10. Manage Yourself
Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’re not operating at your best, your team, your family, and your business won’t be able to either. Show compassion and empathy for those around you, but don’t forget to save some for yourself!