During economic recessions, not only “green shots” that prematurely die, but big, lumbering trees also start to fall down. However, there’s an opportunity for growth after a severe storm, so we shouldn’t just sit back, thinking that the sky won’t be clear again. Here are things we should do to prepare ourselves for the next period of growth:
- Accumulate enough inventory: If we are running a product-based business, we usually count our inventory and if we are service-based business, we may not have inventory. This is a simple fact to understand. The idea is straightforward, we should start with inventory. If we are selling non-perishable products, then it is a good idea to start accumulating items that we can sell later. With enough inventory, we should be able to start selling when there’s enough demand.
- Perform some audits: We should make sure that we are business-ready for the future growth. If we are prepared, we won’t waste opportunities and it would be very easy to grow our business. We should also check things like our office lease and make sure that it doesn’t expire. It may be helpful to renegotiate with our landlord and hire professionals to audit our business. We should make sure that all procedures are legally compliant with good business practices. The audit should incorporate any recent business records.
- Review insurance: When we do business audit, we should talk with agents to see whether we need to make changes with our business insurance. If some policies have gone up, it may be a good idea to choose policies from other insurance providers. If they have gone down, we may expand our coverage.
- Motivate employees and talk to them: Recession is tough on everybody, both business owners and employees. Employees can be concerned about reduction in bonus and standard of living. They will be worried if companies start to assign them less and less working hours. When things get serious enough, they could also be prepared to lose their jobs. If we are preparing for growth, it is important to re-engage them and check what they need to get fully motivated. It is a good idea to re-train them and re-build the weakening team spirit.
- Check office equipments: We should check whether we are working with outdated equipments that could hold back our business. This should be a good time to upgrade. However, there’s a learning curve involved if we decide to buy new equipments.
- Upgrade our computer network and accounting system: It is often suggested that we need to change software and computers every three years. Computer network is a critical infrastructure for our business and we won’t grow much if we don’t have a reliable computer network. The financial life blood of our company is determined by a solid accounting system. Now, it is an ideal time to replace the old accounting software before a new influx of customers start to appear. Computer network is often integrated with a company-wide accounting system.