Recession is Looming: Here are the Early, Decisive Actions to Take

Oct 13, 2022 | Recession, Latest

 The actions you take at the beginning of a recession are critical to your success during a downturn and beyond. As the threat of another downturn looms, it’s timely to revisit lessons learned — in particular, that outperformers win because of the decisive actions they take.

There are three key areas CEOs should focus on to set their companies up for success during an economic downturn: manage spend, secure top talent, and accelerate digital investments. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

 1. Manage Spend

During a recession, it’s important to carefully manage your company’s spending. This may mean making tough decisions about where to cut costs. However, it’s important to be strategic about where you make cuts. You don’t want to cut too deeply into areas that will impact your company’s long-term health and growth prospects.

It’s crucial to closely monitor your spend so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you’re spending more than you’re taking in. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Track your spending carefully. This means knowing exactly where every dollar is going and being mindful of how much you’re spending in each area.
  • Make cuts where necessary. If there are areas of your business where you can cut back on spending, do it. This will help free up cash that can be used elsewhere.
  • Negotiate with suppliers. If your suppliers are willing to negotiate on price, take advantage of it! This can help you save money on essential items without compromising quality.
  • Review your budget regularly. A recession can be unpredictable, so it’s important to review your budget often and make adjustments as needed. This will help ensure that your spending is always in line with your revenue.
digital investment

Managing Spend Doesn’t Mean Cutting All Costs and Investments

While it’s important to be mindful of your spending, that doesn’t mean cutting costs and investments completely. In fact, businesses that continued to invest in key growth areas during the last recession were able to take advantage of the recession and grow faster at the end of it. Here’s how you can manage your spend during a recession.

1. Prioritize your spending

During a recession, it’s more important than ever to prioritize your spending. Take a close look at your budget and figure out where you can cut back without sacrificing too much. For example, you might want to cut back on travel or entertainment expenses.

But be careful not to cut too deep—you don’t want to jeopardize your company’s future by making too many short-term cuts.

2. Invest in key growth areas

Even during a recession, there are still opportunities for growth. So it’s important to continue investing in key areas of your business that have the potential to drive long-term growth.

For example, you might want to invest in new product development or marketing initiatives that will help you reach new markets.

3. Focus on cash flow

One of the most important things you can do during a recession is focus on cash flow. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover any unexpected expenses that might come up.

And if possible, try to increase your cash reserves so you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.


2. Secure Top Talent

In order to weather a recession, you need the best talent on your team. This is the time to invest in retention strategies and make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your top performers from leaving. Additionally, this is an opportunity to attract top talent from other companies who may be making cuts in their own workforce.

Here are a few tips on how to secure the best talent during a recession:

1. Offer competitive salaries and benefits

In order to attract the best talent, you need to offer competitive salaries and benefits. This is especially true during a recession, as people are looking for stability and security in their jobs.

By offering a competitive salary and benefits package, you’ll show that you’re committed to your employees’ well-being and that you’re a company worth working for.

2. Get creative with your recruiting methods

During a recession, you may have to get creative with your recruiting methods. You may need to look beyond traditional channels such as job boards and newspapers and instead focus on social media, employee referrals, or even headhunting.

Whatever recruiting methods you use, make sure you’re targeting the right audience so you can find the best talent out there.

3. Promote from within whenever possible

Whenever possible, promote from within. This shows your employees that there are opportunities for advancement at your company and that their hard work will be rewarded. Promoting from within also allows you to save on recruiting and training costs, which can be especially important during a recession.

While a recession can be tough on businesses, it’s important to remember that securing the best talent is crucial to weathering the storm and coming out on top when the economy eventually bounces back.

digital transformation

3. Accelerate Digital Investments

A recession is a good time to accelerate digital investments.

A recent study by McKinsey found that companies that invested in digital transformation during the last recession outperformed their peers financially by 8 percent annually over the following five years.

Digital investments can help you drive top-line growth and improve operational efficiency – two essential ingredients for success during a recession.

This is because digital investments often have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. By investing in digital initiatives now, you can position your company for long-term growth and success.

Here are three ways to accelerate digital investment and help your company thrive in the upcoming recession.

1. Develop a Future Vision of the Customer and Employee

In order to thrive in the upcoming recession, it’s important to develop a future vision of the customer and employee. What does the ideal customer look like? What does the ideal employee look like? How can you make your products and services more appealing to customers?

How can you make your workplace more attractive to employees? Answering these questions will help you develop a clear vision for your company’s future.

2. Invest in Predictive and Autonomous Digital Projects

Another way to accelerate digital investment is to invest in predictive and autonomous digital projects that will make the organization faster and leaner. This means investing in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.

These technologies will help you automate tasks, improve decision-making, and increase efficiency. In other words, they’ll help you do more with less.

3. Narrow the Metrics You Use

Finally, it’s important to narrow the metrics you use to measure and manage digital initiatives down to the few that align with outcomes. There’s no point in measuring metrics that don’t have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. For example, website traffic is a popular metric that many companies track.

However, website traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to sales or leads. A better metric to focus on would be conversion rate (the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action).

By focusing on metrics that align with outcomes, you’ll be able to make better decisions about where to allocate your resources.

Taking early, decisive action is critical to weathering a recession successfully. By focusing on key areas like spend management, talent retention, and digital investments, you can set your company up for success during an economic downturn—and beyond.

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