Official confirmation of recession, tax raises and spending cuts. Doom and gloom 24×7 on the news. Here’s my take on what it means for us as SME business owners.
- This is not the first recession, and it won’t be the last. Sometimes they’ve hurt a little, sometimes a lot, sometimes not at all. Depends on your context and your response. There will be some suffering – there will be a lot for some people. But for most of us, especially business owners, it’s not the end of the world as the 24×7 media would have you believe.
- In some of the gloomiest headlines, it seems we’re going to head back to 2014’s quality of life… 2014. 2014 is far from being bombed “back into the Stone Age”. (Thanks General Curtis LeMay for that enlightened threat to the Vietnamese). Do you remember your financial quality of life in 2014? Was it dreadful? Or was it a little better than 2013 and a little worse than 2015?
- And in the broader scheme of things, to the higher paid it will pinch. To the lower paid, it will hurt more. So if you’re one of the former, you need to look out for those who are the latter.
The most important one.
The recession is the recession. It doesn’t own your response.
And YOU are able to have a bigger impact on your company than a recession (or a boom).
[As an aside, this is contrary to what most of your sales team will tell you – when they smash their targets in boom years, it’s because they’re brilliant; but when they miss them in recession, it’s the recession’s fault.]
If you simply ride the wave, you’ll go up with it, and down with it. But in both instances, decisions you make can significantly improve the odds of outperforming.
I wrote about my approach in a longer previous post. In summary:
- Make your operational control tight. Don’t let doing the basics wrong or a lack of control of them be the reason you hurt more than you should (This is not to micromanage – but that’s another post).
- Be clear about what scenarios will trigger what actions up front. It won’t happen as you predict, but your team’s response muscles will be better prepared if you’ve flexed them together.
- Make sure there’s clarity on direction, and enough delegation for your team to respond to real-world activities. And for you all to innovate as you may need to.
- Stay true to your values. If that means some pain in the short term, know that the longer term pain of breaking them will be much more profound and destructive.
Finally, as the owner, you do need to control your mood. If recession is all you talk about with your team, you’ll drag them further down than the BBC / Sky already is!
Be the light. Your team, and the investment you’ve made building this thing, will thank you for it.
How we can support you
- Join us on a workshop on how to scale your company; create time to focus on the bigger picture; and keep values and purpose core to your company. For max 5 CEOs of companies with revenues between £1.5m and £15m.
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- Talk to us to explore how we can help you scale your company in the direction you want to take it.