7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Business in 2024 and Beyond


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According to Fitch Ratings’ Global Economic Outlook report for 2024, a steep 2.1% dip in world growth is expected this year. CEOs and other executives must find firm footing atop shaky terrain. Bold leadership and robust fundamentals to sustain scaling are a must in these times.

As best-selling author Marshall Goldsmith says, “What got you here won’t get you there.” The challenges of the current landscape call for new approaches and solutions to protect your company and even spearhead growth in 2024. I’ve advised the strategies for CEOs of publicly traded companies, family offices and everything in between. My finger is firmly on the pulse of what top leaders do to remain effective in uncertain times.

Maintain a continually growing, recession-proof enterprise by following the seven strategies I’ve detailed below:

1. Budget for the worst-case scenario

Global growth declining means potential ceilings will lower, and basements will steepen. Weighing these realities is crucial when you’re budgeting and spending. Increase your optionality and runway by keeping your business flush with cash. Dave Ramsey says to set aside at least six to twelve months’ worth in emergency savings — do this for your business.

This approach provides wiggle room during slow-moving seasons, offering freedom to work toward solutions, innovate or pivot as needed and ensure your company remains intact and healthy. For example, one CEO explained that revenue slowed down this year, and they faced the prospect of letting three of their best staff go. But with a one-year savings fund set aside, for example, you may have the runway to keep on your best staff and weather the slowdown.

Related: You Won’t Have a Strong Budget Until You Follow These 5 Tips

2. Establish your expertise and differentiate your high-value offerings

Has quality lead flow evaded your business? Are you frequently lowering prices to attract clients? If so, consider the points below. These days, in a world in flux, your target market consists of B2B and B2C clients seeking trustworthy industry leaders and problem solvers. Brand equity is, therefore, vital. Infuse your business with it through the following methods:

  • Position your brand as an authority and influential force in your sector.
  • Invest in improved positioning to enhance and harness your brand’s marketplace perception. Align with other reputable, well-positioned companies that can help bolster your standing.
  • Procure client testimonials and accumulate positive reviews. Place those front and center in the primate real estate across your website and social media profiles.

Do everything possible to establish your expertise and differentiate your high-value offerings. An influx of clients will follow.

3. Cultivate thriving relationships

Build foundational pillars by cultivating relationships and opening yourself and your business to collaboration, mentorship referrals and resource sharing. Doing so establishes goodwill and healthy alliances, providing a layer of security for your company.

Professional and personal partnerships come in two forms:

  1. Partners who share your values.
  2. Partners with complementary skill sets.

Making these connections can mean entering new spaces, stepping out of your comfort zone or even building communities from scratch. Offering value is a foolproof catalyst in these instances.

Analyze what you could do to solve a problem for a desirable partnership candidate. Execute your solution and make an offer. Present this individual with a game-changing partnership opportunity or an exciting idea. For example, if I notice a high-level CEO has written a book and speaks widely but may like to speak on the TEDx stage, I can introduce myself and present the opportunity at the outset, offering value by having done research in advance.

When you’ve created a connection, always have this partner’s back when needed. Be intentional about communicating the parameters you expect in a reciprocal partnership so everyone is on the same page.

4. Keep your reputation intact

A sterling reputation is a leg up over almost any competitor in your industry. Don’t allow a measly misstep or sloppy shortcut to derail all you’ve worked for. Thanks to social media, when brands mess up, they’re more visible than ever, shrinking bottom lines at a time when companies can’t afford the hit. Get ahead of potential snafus. Vet your sources, vendors and clients rigorously, establishing processes and sequences to ensure you work with high-integrity peers, partners, and colleagues.

Moreover, be conscious and intentional about your image on social media. Scrutinize every post and ask if it will help or hinder your reputation. If they don’t pass the gut check, trust your intuition and move on.

5. Align with top talent

You and your company can only afford to align and work with the highest-performing staff, talent and partners. Many people overpromise and under-deliver. They’ll sap you of resources while you lose precious time. Establish parameters before entering business partnerships to ensure a value match and optimal time usage. Doing so prevents you from damaging your reputation because you tried squeezing juice from a spoiled turnip.

For example, I take extra time on a call to ask specific questions about the parameters of the project and what a successful outcome looks like for everyone. At the end of the call, I ask what the deadline is to receive informational materials and schedule a call to discuss the next steps. If they cancel the next call or miss their deadline on the small items, I make a mental note and prioritize them less in the future. Protect your sphere of influence — people must prove themselves before working their way in.

6. Remain calm, cool and collected

Soft skills like emotional intelligence (EQ) and empathy grow in importance as AI and automation run rampant in workplaces. Still, emotions can’t be allowed to impede your professional survival. For instance, external factors aren’t about emotions. Therefore, your reaction to them can’t be emotional. Shaky geopolitics and unforgiving economic factors can derail your progress, but they shouldn’t ruin you. It’s up to you to assess, analyze, pivot and improve your skills accordingly.

Fulfill promises. Remain resilient. Prove yourself an unflappable anchor. People flock to leaders in precarious times, and if you can prove yourself as such, you’ll establish a foothold in your ecosystem when things stabilize.

Related: How to Advance Your Career Through Upskilling and Reskilling in Your Current Role

7. Evolve your skillset

AI has sent technological advances on a rapidly moving path, altering the landscape of many industries as the global economy threatens to recede.

Stay ahead of the curve by upskilling and familiarizing yourself with the tools of today and tomorrow by taking these paths:

  • Earn new certifications in complementary business verticals.
  • Gain a working knowledge of AI or coding.
  • Learn the nuances of deal structuring and negotiation.
  • Invest in cutting-edge technique training for your team.

With these seven strategies, you’re positioned for sustained success in 2024 and beyond.

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