How to Win During A Recession...

Aug 09, 2022
How To Grow During Recession
Everybody knows that winners do something more consistently and more often than their competitors...They WIN!

In volatile economic times, when recession is looming as it is now, winners and losers are always separated by two critical traits. First, winners have a positive vision and identify opportunity when most everyone else sees nothing but risk and unavoidable peril. Winners tend to be contrarian by nature. They tend to first look for a competitive advantage or strategy that will help them create distance between themselves and the rest of the market when virtually everyone else is seeking shelter. This can be either intuitive or learned behavior. Either way, the instinctual, initial reaction to an economic downturn is to immediately seek an uncrowded lane where they can gather speed and outpace competitors before they know what hit them.

The second quality is decisiveness, their ability to fully commit 100% to an aggressive, but calculated course of action. They are clear-eyed and determined to execute on the opportunities that recessions often deliver. This is no easy task, and it requires the stomach to often deal with doubt, or even outright opposition, from their teams. However, they stay the course and continue to adjust as needed to drive the result they seek. In pursuit of the competitive advantages they see, they will remain resolute and unwavering in spite of any headwinds or unexpected obstacles.

In these times of uncertainty, there are two critical areas that smart, industrious leaders will grow their business for the long-term. They know that a small, sacrificial percentage of the ground or profit they may potentially give up early will be countered by a sustainable and decided edge over their competition that they will then grow and essentially never cede back.

This is so powerful and predictable that it still baffles those who take advantage of opportunity during recessions, as to why others do not do the same. The answer is a prima facie example of Occam's seems so obvious to the average business owner, that it can't possibly be true.

The first opportunity to grow your business and get a decisive advantage over your competitors is growing your talent bank. It is often a direct result of the first expense line that almost every Business Owner/CEO/COO/CFO focuses on when the economy sputters to the point of recession...personnel expense. Everybody knows that businesses cut people first, because they are perceived as the largest expense in any business. This may be true depending on the operational efficiency and throughput yield, but in companies that wring out max production through perpetual innovation, skill development and optimization the opposite is also true.

This is when and where great companies look for casualties of the corporate cost-cutting through layoffs. They look for top talent that is sent packing, and they not only offer them refuge from the economic malaise, moreover they then provide an opportunity to become part of something even better! In times of economic upheaval and transformation, the very best business minds look for ways to add top talent to their ranks or upgrade in positions where they feel underperformance exists.

The second area that relentless business leaders crave to dominate is also a primary focus during a downturn...increasing market share. It is often when they will go into a hyperactive search for marketing and advertising opportunities that they can either buy up normally hard to win advertising inventory, buy media at a discount or completely own and dominate a particular market or medium. This is the result of the majority of their competitors growing wary, weary and fearful of losing money. the irony is that the feed that fate in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The time to buy up valuable marketing assets and "real estate" is when others are running in the other direction. It puts your business in a position to create even more separation from the pack.

There are factors that impact a business leader's ability to execute on these strategies. Ideally, the business has been savvy and effective in the ongoing management of expenses leading into the downturn, and they have operational structures that lever efficiency and the ability to quickly pivot to either maximize that leverage or avoid an unexpected challenge. in the end, the very best operators in business see all economic conditions as a combination of opportunity and risk. It is never 100% one or the other.

How will you position your business to exploit these two strategic advantages over your competition?

There is still time to assess your business, develop your plan and take decisive action to grow both your talent bank and your market share. Both of these will drive improvement in your business while the competition struggles with doubt, decreased revenue and lower morale. And, perhaps more importantly, they are sustainable and more likely to catalyze your market leadership and profits long beyond the ebb and flow of a recession.

Drop me an email or direct message on LinkedIn with your next move or any questions you may have, and remember...We all have to #StepUp2StandOut!