Is the recession over? Ask ten financial experts and only five of them will say yes. Of the other five, three of those will say there’s another recession coming, and at least one of those will tell you its going to get much worse. At no other time in history has the phrase “just for today” been more accurate. If you’re experiencing good times right now, enjoy them, but it’s important to plan for possible bad times. It’s not being pessimistic; it’s being practical. If the second recession never comes, you’ll be in better shape than your competitors if you follow these suggestions.
Efficiency is Essential to Success
This might be the most valuable piece of advice you get, in any type of economic times, good or bad. Efficiency is the key to success. Every dollar spent needs to be accounted for and every action taken should have a documented result. This applies to every facet of your company, from the recruiting and hiring of new employees to the final distribution of your product or service. When recruiting, use on demand recruiting software to be more efficient. When hiring, streamline the interview process and screen resumes more thoroughly. Check all references and make sure that the applicant you are about to hire is who they say they are.
For management efficiency, one of the best ways to run a company is to make sure everyone has a specific job. In a perfect world, everyone will do that job to the best of their ability and things will ruin smoothly. Unfortunately, when human beings are involved, nothing is ever perfect. Cross train your employees so someone can step in when another falters or calls in sick. You don’t want to have overlapping responsibilities, but you also don’t want lost production. Make sure, when you enter a new employee into your job applicant tracking system, that you list additional skills which can be helpful to your company. They may come in handy when you’re in a pinch and need to do more with fewer people.
Cut if you have to cut. Don’t Procrastinate.
Remember the Sword of Damocles? No one wants to live with uncertainty on the job. When a recession hits, you as a business owner have to make some cuts. Don’t procrastinate. Just get them done. An employee who knows they’re being laid off can plan accordingly. One who is waiting for the sword to fall will not be able to do their job properly. They know its just business. Make notes in your recruitment tracking system that these folks should be the first ones hired back, then move on. You have other issues to worry about during a recession.
Spend wisely, but don’t Stop Spending
A number of companies during the last recession made the mistake of halting all spending and went under because of it. You still have to operate your business, advertise, market, and distribute your products. Don’t make fear-based decisions and stop all spending. Some recessions can go on for years. Are you going to freeze outgoing funds for the entire time? You’ll be out of business in no time if you try.