Game Plan for Recession-Proofing Your Business

Recession-proofing your business is about to resetting, regrouping, and relaunching to unlock the potential in your business in a way that is the least disruptive to your team, your customers, and your suppliers.

The need to regenerate a business comes about usually through a crisis. Whilst we have never seen a crisis quite like the one we are in right now, we are liable to be impacted by a crisis at any time through the decisions we make, disruption to the market we are in or, affected by external events.

At all these times we have got to start by taking stock of where we are, identifying where we want to go, and deciding what vehicle we need to get there. This analysis may result in requiring a different team, new systems, new products or services, and a different way of marketing them.

Once you have considered the above, you are in a position to reset, regroup, and relaunch. Now is the time to add a digital aspect to your business.

To achieve this, it is essential to have a plan. In this document, we include a Four-stage plan with Twelve steps in total.

Stage 1 Preparation:

Step 1        START: Know where you are

Step 2        PURPOSE: Commit to what you want to achieve and why

Step 3         FINANCES: Know your numbers and targets

Stage 2 Design:

Step 4        REDESIGN: Redevelop your business model for today

Step 5         PLAN: Set your three-month objectives

Step 6        PROBLEM: Define your customer needs

Step 7         TRUST: Design your customer pathway

Stage 3 Develop:

Step 8        TEAM: Realign your team and talent

Step 9        CHANGE: Managing the impact on stakeholders

Step 10       RESOURCES: Launch, systems, schedule

Stage 4 Implementation

Step 11      MEASURE: Track, adjust, and refine

Step 12      COMPLETE: Deliver successfully and repeat

Completing the Twelve Steps

These twelve steps create a leadership pathway and are loosely based on a system called Entrepreneur Dynamics – the number one system for Agile Leadership, created by Roger James Hamilton of the Genius Group – the leading education group for Entrepreneurs.

People aren’t buying the same products and services they were in the same way. But once you focus on solving your customer problems, demand for what you deliver will multiply as they are being challenged with more problems than ever. Many businesses are not surviving right now and do not know how to regenerate themselves, so you need a proven method not just to survive but to thrive. 

There are two ways that you can use these twelve steps. The first is to get the general principles of the steps from this guide and apply them on your own. The second is to work with Anatomic Consulting who will help you to recession proof your business.

 

Navigating the Way Ahead

We are living in unprecedented times. We are currently living through the aftermath of the pandemic, Brexit, recession, interest rate hikes,, slow-down of spending, reduced supplies and more.  

 If you are like most of the business owners, you will be feeling the effects, particularly financially. You are also likely to be experiencing changes in behaviours and needs of your customers and your market.

Even worse, you realise you need to fix the short-term business challenge so you can keep an eye on upcoming opportunities.

Over the next 3 – 5 years, the key focus must be longevity if you are also able to grow and increase your profitability, that is even better. The goal needs to be to protect your cash flow, keep the business profitable, and where possible, provide employment so the community can thrive as well.

By adding a digital component to your business, you have the opportunity to attract a wider audience, even a global audience. You can take advantage of new and different behaviours of your customers, e.g. less travel, more home-focused, more family time.

You also have the opportunity to save time and costs by delivering services digitally and take advantage of emerging technologies, especially AI.  Embracing these will give you a competitive edge over others in your sector who are expecting the previous ways of working will continue.   Above all, you have a greater opportunity to participate in a rapidly growing digital world.

With crisis comes possibilities; it is always in the times of greatest crisis that lie the opportunities of a lifetime. But you need to be prepared to go against the crowd and step out of your comfort zone to reap the benefits.

The Four Stages & Twelve Steps Explained

Stage 1: Preparation

This stage is about resetting. It goes back to the fundamentals as to why you are in business, your purpose both in life and in your business mission, and ensures you reconnect with the market that you operate within.

Step 1 – START: Know where you are

The first step to get started is with yourself. To change your business, you need to be the leader and the catalyst, otherwise, no one will follow you. That means getting clear on where you are now so that you begin with a realistic starting point and a personalised path that will work for you. To really get a thorough picture of who you are and where you are right now personally and for your business, you need to be clear on your:

Step 2 – PURPOSE: Commit to what you want to achieve and why

The results of taking Step One are likely to find that what you were doing before your decision to regenerate is not as aligned with who you are as you would like. That gives you a chance to create a new beginning that is more inspiring and empowering to you than previously.

This step allows you to realign your business to your purpose and to something that you find fulfilling as well as provides you with the income/cash flow you need to remain profitable.

Step 3 – FINANCES: Know your numbers and targets

 The biggest challenge when regenerating your business is to know the impact on your finances. Whether you want to focus on cutting costs, changing products, or attracting a new audience, you need to know what your targets are, and how you are going to get there.

Stage 2 Design:

The design is where you start to get into detail. Remember you are designing something that is what your customers need, NOT what you want to provide to them or think they need!

Step 4 PROBLEM: Define your customer needs

 Before commencing on the design for your new business, it is vital to get clear on exactly who your customer avatar is. You may have multiple products and services designed to serve different avatars, so make sure you differentiate. This step is critical to the longevity of your business.

Step 5 – Redesign: Redevelop your business model for today

 Once you have your strategy and a clear understanding as to who you are serving, it is about redesigning your products, services, and operating model for the market TODAY. In fact, you may now be serving a different market and moving from a local to a more global client base.

Step 6 – PLAN: Set your three-month objectives

 Why create a three-month plan? This is the length of a season, the length to form a habit, and enough time to plan and execute whilst short enough to get results fast. Take a week to prepare and then have twelve weeks to accomplish, adjusting your strategy as you go.

Step 7 TRUST: Design your customer pathway

 The new customer pathway you are designing calls for a model that can deliver value remotely

so you can focus on a more global model. Whilst you may still rely on local customers, this may not be enough to deliver the cash flow you need for longevity.

Recession-proofing your business is not about ignoring or abandoning your existing customer base, it is about expanding it to provide more options and to serve a broader, perhaps different set of communities. You may also identify that by partnering or joint venturing with other businesses, you can create a far better offering to clients.

Stage 3 People:

You can have the best technologies and processes, but if you do not focus on the people, you will have failed.

Step 8 TEAM: Realign your team and talent

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of setting up their team before creating their plan, which means they end up with the wrong team or the wrong strategy.

Whilst it is essential to look after your existing staff, it is more critical that their roles are aligned with their natural talents.

Step 9 CHANGE: Managing the impact on stakeholders

Stakeholders are anyone who will be affected by the changes you make to your business as you regenerate to meet your market’s demands at this time. They can include Customers, Suppliers, Staff, Contractors, Service providers, and Legislative bodies, to name a few.

Transition to a new business model should not happen by chance; you need a specific change plan that is people-focused.

Step 10 – MARKETING: Resources needed to operate and market your business

 To ensure you can be found and transacted digitally, a business needs the basics of the right landing pages (website), payment platform, social media, community platform, and CRM system. These can be for a minimal cost depending on the size and complexity of your business.

Stage 4 Implementation

 Implementing your plan is where the ‘rubber hits the road’ and your hard work pays off.

Step 11 – MEASURE: Track, adjust, and refine

 Just as the agile methodology has a rhythm of sprints and reviews, agile leadership has a rhythm of promotions and processes. You should be adjusting the ‘Why’, ‘What’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, and ‘How’ is critical to the way you earn and learn over the 12 weeks of the plan.

It is essential to have sound measuring systems to obtain predictability and consistency. These guide you in your decision-making and help you to plan and grow in a sustained way.

Step 12 COMPLETE successfully and repeat

 With the right support and mentorship, you will find that within four weeks, you can develop an entirely new revenue stream by following these steps and working with others. Three months will allow you to implement, measure, refine, and repeat.

This process is a continuous cycle of learning and improvement. At the end of the three months, it is not that you will have ended a project that is generating revenues, and you need to find a new project to start. Instead, the endpoint should be that the model you have developed gets multiplied and the stream can turn into a river, with an ongoing flow.