What to include in an economically robust business plan.

Businesses that aren’t set up to survive the ebb and flow of the market are destined to fail. Recessions are, and probably always will be, an intrinsic element of economies – just as hurricanes are to atmospheres.

Our economy is coming out of one of its most destructive storms in modern history. So what have we learned from it?

5 tips on recession-proofing your business

  1. Establish a culture of success. A study conducted by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck suggests that those who believe they can grow and learn, do. Developing this attitude collectively begins with leadership. Lead by example so your standards are visible – if you slack, or manifest defeatist emotions, it’ll trickle throughout your company – and, make sure everyone understands their importance so the business’s success is everybody’s. 
  2. Never stop improving your system. Systemizing processes increases efficiency and minimizes risk, so systemize as much as functionally possible. Established methodologies also help institute a company cultured with precision and high standards of quality: we do this in a very specific way because we care and that’s part of what makes us the best. 
  3. Plan for the worst. One system that should be established is for how to deal with a recession. During economic downturns, it’s more important than ever to understand who your customers are, what motivates them, and how they choose to spend their money during financially difficult times. Use this information to assess your opportunities and develop a recession marketing plan before one hits.
  4. Know thyself (or thy-business). Identify your financial drivers, monitor and compare benchmarks, and inform your entire staff on company goals in relation to these drivers and benchmarks. Keeping your economic finger on the pulse of your company helps you understand exactly how to react to both peaks and valleys, and how to take advantage of patterns.
  5. When you stop learning, you’re dead. These days, very few industries aren’t affected in one way or another by new technology, enlightened methodologies, or social trends. Company-funded training and continued education can give you an edge on your competition, and help boost overall company value. If these benefits aren’t in your budget, scheduling bi-monthly “state of the art” meetings can help keep your crew on top of their game.

Long-term success is possible, but it takes work

Of course, boiling down long-term business success to 5 tips is a gross oversimplification. But the point is, you need to always be planning for the future, not just with growth strategies but also recovery strategies. Focusing only on the present is the number one mistake we see with our clients, and in our ever-more-complex economic environment, it’s more important than ever to have a plan and a culture that ensures long-term success.

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