Right now, our mission is to provide practical strategies and timely information to protect and prepare you as we slide into a recession. With that in mind, CEO Richard Francis recently delivered an incredibly informative webinar, 10 Recession-Busting Tips for advisors, business owners, and CFOs.
We've included links to the relevant timestamps in webinar recording, as well as a quick written summary:
1. Re-Evaluate Your Business Model [Skip to 07:26 in the webinar recording]
The way you work has to change, make it a change for the better!
“In the last two weeks I’ve seen many business owners make panicked decisions and rupture relationships that took years to build.”
In the past few weeks, you’ll probably have had to heavily 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.
Are there changes you’ve made recently that you’ll want to make permanent once things start picking up? Has your team learned to collaborate in new ways that will serve you for the better going forward? Maybe you’ve had to shorten your turnaround time, or started offering new delivery options. Good things can come from bad times, if decisions are made with a cool head.
2. Ensure Your Team is Optimised and Ready [Skip to 13:51]
Take care of your team, so they can take care of business. Health and safety doesn’t just mean letting everyone in the office know where the fire extinguisher is stashed. Keeping your team healthy and motivated is key to the survival of your business. Some of your employees will handle the disruption better than others, and should be supported mentally, physically, and emotionally through this time.
If you have any hard decisions to make 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 for success.
3. Get Time With Your Accountant or Advisor [Skip to 18:26]
Their expertise might be the difference between sink or swim. There are a number of services your accountant or advisor could offer you right now that could make a real difference. 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 client. There’s no point getting through the worst of the slump, only to find that you’ve run out of money.
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 that will see you thriving.
4. Understand Government Assistance Schemes [Skip to 23:29]
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 [Skip to 30:40]
Humanity is more important now than ever. Everyone could use a friendly face and voice from outside their quarantine bubble right now. But it’s not just about sales—it’s about connection. Reconnect, reassure, really listen to what your customers are saying. Relationships rekindled under duress are likely to last well beyond bad times.
Be careful with your communication—quality, not quantity, is key. Make sure that your messaging is empathetic and not tone-deaf, but also, try not to hammer your customer base with crisis comms. We all know things are getting bad out there—how can you help make their day better?
6. Talk to Your Bank and Stakeholders [Skip to 35:46]
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? What advisory services can they provide? Are they a source of capital now, or will they be in the future? What expertise can they offer?
Keep the bank in the loop, so they can help you with things like overdraft availability and other measures. Stay on their radar.
7. Dive Into Your Numbers [Skip to 38:29]
Use them as a guide going forward. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need a cashflow forecast, and a budget. Take your data and all available factors, and use it to plan scenarios: what good, bad, and ugly scenarios are possible in the future?
Your numbers will illuminate both ‘flab’ and ‘muscle’. If you need to trim the fat, now’s a good time to do so, but don’t throw out useful subscriptions and assets with all the nice-to-haves. Keep what’s useful, and it’ll serve you well in the long run.
8. Update Strategy and Direction [Skip to 41:35]
Get your business ready for the new normal. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The way forward might be clear to you right now, but you need to be thinking about how the decisions you’re making will impact your business in the future. Create a chart of 30/60/90 day priorities and actions, and make sure there’s a balance between urgency and intent.
Put your customers at the heart of your decision making. What’s the best service you offer right now, and are you delivering it in a way that’s accessible to your base?
Take a moment to think about long term goals. What are the top three objectives for the next one-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 [Skip to 45:20]
Reach out to old friends, and make new ones. In tough times, the prepared, proactive and fearless often move quickly from flight/survive, to fight/thrive. These individuals seek new or renewed relationships, networks, and sources of advice that will sustain and guide them on the journey ahead.
Come out of this time with more connections that you had going in. Make sure you give as much as you take, and reap the rewards of beneficial relationships that will boost not only your business, but your own profile, as well as your wellbeing. Find the people who can support you through tough times, and be that person for others. No man is an island, especially not in the age of technology.
10. Manage Yourself [Skip to 48:21]
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. Stay realistic, avoid burn-out, take some time out to recharge so you remain positive and effective.
Learn to shut out the 24-hour news cycle, and focus in on what matters. Eliminate sources of negativity from your life, whether that’s people, companies, or news outlets, and focus on the good. In bad times, we often see humanity at its best, and now is no different. Look for the positive, bring it into your life, and share it with others. After all, we’re all on this journey together.