With interest rates blowing through the roof, supply chains continuing to be interrupted and inflation at its highest point in decades, most business owners right now are looking at the looming recession and are pulling back within their businesses. What many people don’t realize, however, is that many of the world’s greatest businesses were built during the toughest of times and most challenge business climates in history.
Why? Tough times bring out the best in those that are creative problem solvers and have the ability to see and capitalize on the silver lining that those tough business environments present. Plain and simple, when most businesses pull back on the reins and start making cuts, the best ones blow right through that period and make the most of it, strengthening their businesses through the opportunities that this slower time presents.
So, what are five steps you can start taking right now in your business in order to capitalize on the slower period so that you come out the other end of the recession stronger and in better shape than you were before?
Clarify & Reinforce the Vision
When business slows and the future seems up in the air, this is the time to back up, make sure your vision for your organization is extremely clear to your employees and reinforce it. If you aren’t doing it already, start conducting a State of the Company Address to your employee base that gets them up to date on the vision and the future of your organization. This will not only ease the anxiety and tension within your people but will help them build confidence in themselves and in the direction and future of the company. How often should you conduct it? Quarterly is great, but don’t be afraid to amp it up to monthly if you’re really going through some challenges.
Optimize Your Structure and People
Too often, businesses commit the cardinal sin of building their organizational structure around the unique individuals they have rather than the ideal structure that is needed to be successful. When recession or slow times hit, there is no better time to challenge yourself in evaluating seats, roles and responsibilities within your company. Are there areas that can be trimmed down and still function effectively? Are there structural changes you’ve been waiting to make but couldn’t because you couldn’t slow down to do so? Also, capitalize on the opportunity to let go of the individuals that you’ve known aren’t a strong values and culture fit. It will only make your organization and team stronger.
Tighten Up the Data
Finances are obviously brought to the light during slow and tough times, but now you have the opportunity to really dig deep into the numbers and really start running your business strictly by the metrics. Spend time digging into the margins of each of your products, offerings and services. Analyze the efficiencies you have and audit your time spent accomplishing tasks. Get in touch will all your expenses and determine what is absolutely vital and what you may not even know is going out the door every month. Challenge your team in getting creative around more revenue opportunities and sources. Maybe you haven’t yet considered recurring and alternative sources like subscriptions and affiliate-related marketing with partners. These will all provide great openings to find those shavings that amount to piles of dollars over time.
Double Down On Your Meeting Time
If the Covid pandemic didn’t yet teach you to lean on each other even more when challenges arise, here is your chance to embrace the idea. Our natural tendency when things get tough is to hunker down in our foxhole and dig into our own areas and items of importance to us. Too often, this leads to scrapping meetings with your team because you feel you can’t take the time due to limited resources. All your team members then end up running on their own and feeling like they are each on an island. When business slows, this is in fact the best time to double down and bank on the creative brain of your entire group. Increase your meeting time, get the ideas flowing and get solving the issues that are holding your company back.
Shore Up Your Processes
No matter what stage you’re at in business, there’s always work to be done around processes. Those that aren’t yet clarified. Ones that aren’t documented and being followed. And those that aren’t yet implemented throughout your organization. Slower periods are fantastic for shoring up your processes that are holding you back and creating inefficiencies. Take time each week to bring processes to the table with your team to either develop, reevaluate or solve issues around effective implementation of them. Over time, your efficiencies, productivity and profitability will be positively impacted through focus on well defined and implemented processes.
Get In Touch
Certified EOS Implementer and business coach Patrick Metzger is passionate about using his teaching and coaching expertise in partnering with and supporting teams and leaders for growth and success as an EOS Implementer and CEO/Founder of The Greenhouse.
Currently, Patrick works with dozens of organizations across the Midwest and nation within a variety of industries in helping them get more out of their businesses, themselves and live their ideal lives. He enjoys guiding everyone from young startups laying the foundational bricks of success to $250M+ companies in increasing efficiencies and making a greater impact in the world.
Contact Patrick directly at patrick.metzger@eosworldwide.