Recessions can be a challenging time for businesses.
While the US isn’t “officially” in a recession, this unique economic landscape means that many companies are hiring and restructuring simultaneously. This means many companies are going through a stressful re-organization, reprioritizing what’s most important for company growth.
If your company also feels the effects of this economic turbulence — or even if it hasn’t — you’ll need to focus on setting it up for success to ensure you’re prepared for the worst.
With the glass half full, however, disruption can also present opportunities for growth and innovation. Having a safety net not only improves the strength of your business but also ensures that you and your employees feel confident, no matter the situation. And who knows? Maybe you’ll strike gold with the idea that fosters innovation and advancement.
That’s why scenario planning is always a good idea. Consider investing in marketing and technology, employee reskilling, and communication plans. Focus on the core competencies that your company offers.
Here are some ways to ensure your company is well-prepared.
Budget and Invest
Budgeting well is critical to any business, but it’s more important now than ever. Many industries have had to strategize differently these past couple of years.
Look closely at every line item in your budget and ensure you only hang on to essential ones. Self-explanatory but worth repeating.
Ensure you’re hanging on to your marketing and advertising budget, though. Recruitment marketing is essential to maintain a positive employer brand, especially now. Your loyal customers are fundamental in generating cash flow and growth, and your reputation among candidates exists whether you are actively hiring. Marketing isn’t a discretionary cost — it’s a necessary expense. Investing in future advertising endeavors can be crucial to maintaining your bottom line.
Invest in technology that could significantly help lessen the load. Try investing in artificial intelligence tools, ATS platforms, analytics software, or any other automated technology that can do your hard work. Virtual platforms or messaging applications supporting your hybrid or remote workforce can be vital.
Reskill, Retrain, Refocus
The biggest mistake you can make is cutting your current staff to make room for new staff. It’s way less hassle — not to mention less expensive — to reskill or retrain your existing staff. It’s far more efficient and reliable to give your employees the benefit of the doubt and help them learn skills that’ll push your business forward.
That doesn’t mean you must stop recruiting — far from it. Ensure you retrain your current employees and bring on talent to help you achieve your long-term goals.
With new technologies becoming cornerstones in businesses globally, it’s vital that your employees change with the times and don’t get left behind. Your employees need to adapt alongside the rest of the workforce.
Not to mention, by including your employees in your company’s growth, you increase employee loyalty. Reskilling employees helps them feel like they’re collaborating in your company’s growth while simultaneously focusing on their professional development.
Don’t forget to measure how effective your reskilling is by analyzing employee knowledge and skills to secure a profitable ROI.
Plan and Communicate
It may seem like a waste of time, but I guarantee it’s not. Having a plan in writing that you can follow to ensure your company stays afloat during an economic downturn is crucial.
Scenario planning can be a big undertaking, but it’s worth it. It means you’ll have documentation to fall back on. This way, you can act quickly and know exactly what will mitigate it.
You need to identify what the potential outcomes for your company are. Estimate how the economy can impact you and cover every possibility. Project your earnings and cash flow so you know what you’ll need in the case of a disaster. Predict how much time it’ll take you to recover and what factors will play a part in affecting that recovery.
The last step is to communicate this plan to your company and employees. Transparency during a difficult time is paramount to maintaining trust and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Securing your business’s future is a team effort.