In a recent article in Harvard Business Review, the authors highlighted that by historical standards, the current phase of economic expansion is long and the risk of recession rises with each passing month. While recessions catch many companies by surprise – in the 2001 recession, total sales for the S&P 500 (an American stock market index of 500 large companies) declined by 9% from its pre-recession peak to its trough 18 months later – these periods also present opportunities for well-prepared companies to take advantage and gain market share.
Of course, the best time to undertake the changes that will strengthen a company during recession is before it hits. So how do you recognise and prepare for the warning signs to get ahead of the game?
If your revenue has consistently been declining, perhaps due to lower pricing, or smaller contracts leading to eroding margins on each deal, it might be time to take another look at your business strategy. Sometimes, making the smallest change can reap huge benefits.
Ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have the right strategy in place to not only survive, but grow too:
- Do you have finance processes in place that measure relevant indicators?
We’re not just talking about cash flow here, but also monitoring the influx of new business at the right price points. For example, you should have performance targets and indicators in place that can help you identify if your sales funnel is drying out.
- To win new business, do you have to offer discounts?
If the answer is ‘yes’, you might need to take a step back and look at your value propositions; is your pricing strategy matching your offering, are market demands changing, are your competitors undercutting your pricing?
- Are the number of opportunities you are aware of – and can win – decreasing?
If so, is this because of geo-political or general economic reasons, or due to new market entrants; do you have more competition for the same segments? Perhaps your offering has become less attractive to your target customers, or you’re focusing on attracting the wrong customers; in other words, misreading customer needs.
In today’s dynamic business world of ever-growing interconnectedness, it is imperative to continuously observe, evaluate and work on your business to ensure that it stays on top of trends and remains relatable to not just your new customers, but your existing ones as well.
The ability to understand not only how such trends strategically fit with business functions and strategy, but how they can grow the bottom line is a skill which is an asset to potential employers. With this in mind, Wrexham Glyndwr University has introduced an online Master of Business Administration (MBA). The comprehensive curriculum covers key business disciplines including marketing, finance, strategy and human resource management, as well as how to develop practical and theoretical business leadership skills. It will teach you how to think critically, plan effectively and implement strategic plans with maximum impact.
Designed for driven, goal-oriented professionals looking to fast-track their career with a deeper understanding of business and leadership skills, the course is 100% online, so you can study at a time that fits in around your current role. With six start dates throughout the year, you can start studying when best suits you, there’s the option to pay as you learn, and you may even be entitled to a UK government-backed postgraduate loan, covering the full cost of the course.
Applications are now open. To learn more or to apply, visit