Keeping Your Business on Track and Ready to Lead

Hints of a recession have been swirling around the business community for some time now, but the COVID-19 Pandemic has truly pushed us to the brink. In a matter of weeks, the travel, entertainment and food service industries have been severely curtailed, and the promise of more businesses being affected can be seen in the new guidelines and proclamations coming out daily, like the recent “shelter in place” recommendations in California and several other states. So, how does a company prepare for an imminent downturn and plan to come out the other side in better shape than they are now?

I was recently introduced to an interesting analogy by Chris Leone of Web Strategies, Inc. during a recent Facebook Live webcast. In his presentation, he cited an article by Tom Holland and Jeff Katzin of Bain & Company in which they likened businesses entering a recession to race cars entering a sharp turn on a racetrack. In racing, this can be the best place to pass the competition but it takes a bit of skill, planning and foresight. A good driver wants to apply the brakes appropriately before the turn, and then turn sharply at the peak of the turn before accelerating hard out of the turn.

As a business preparing for some difficult times ahead, history has shown that the successful companies are the progressively focused businesses that employ a strategy similar to the best race car drivers before hitting the turn:

Brake Appropriately – Manage expenses to maintain the financial health of your business, but don’t cut out things that you will need to be successful coming out of the recession. In other words, cut fat from your organization but keep the people and resources that will be critical to ramping up successfully in the future. Look for ways to streamline operations by utilizing innovative systems and digital technology.

Steer Hard at the Peak – When you’re in the midst of the downturn, look for opportunities to enhance your brand more than opportunities to increase your sales. Especially in a health crisis situation as we’re in now, this is a time to win hearts not new business. Look for creative ways to help your customers through this tough time, and your efforts will be rewarded in the end.

Accelerate Coming Out – Anticipate the end of the recession before your competition and start ramping up by investing in new marketing ideas and additional resources in order to come out stronger than you went in. Take the lessons you learned during the hard times to elevate your business by focusing more on your customers needs than ever before.

These are uncertain times, but they will not last. Keeping pace with winning strategies will make sure you are ready to resume full speed and take the lead when the time is right.

If there is anything the Upright team can do to help you through this unprecedented time in our history, we’re here to assist. Just give us a call!