Survive & Thrive: How to Recession Proof Your Business
The Survive & Thrive Webinar hosted three incredible panelists.
- Tom Gabbert: Tom is the CEO and co-founder of Milestone. He is a pioneer in the outsourced accounting industry since 2003. He is a successful entrepreneur who loves to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals and dreams.
- Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner ®: Pete is an award-winning financial expert, USA Today Columnist, author of ten books, and CEO of Your Money Line. Pete is regularly considered a top expert in personal financial wellness. Check out Your Money Line here.
- Brenna Whitaker: Brenna is the VP of People Ops and Co-Founder of Milestone. Brenna has over 18 years of experience building strong employee cultures and creating next-level employee experience.
The webinar broke into two sections for input from all the panelists: Survive and Thrive. Tom represented the financial wellness of a business and being an entrepreneur during a down economy. Pete spoke about personal financial well-being during a market slowdown. Brenna talked about the people health of a business during a recession.
Tom discussed two tactics revolving around having a plan during a recession. The first was trigger-based contingency plans. Tom highlighted that businesses should find leading indicators for the health of their business and have plans in place if they drop by x%. For example, a leading indicator would be lead volume compared to a lagging indicator of revenue. Each business should have a plan for lead volume dropping by 10%, 20%, and 40%. The second tactic he discussed was forming a ranked people list amongst leadership to determine productivity for the business.
Tom also highlighted the importance of understanding your expenses, a natural reflex for an entrepreneur. However, Tom says these all come together in a financial forecast. Financial forecasts will help business owners understand the impact of their decisions on cash flow both short and long-term. In the end, Tom highlights the importance of informed decisions and advocates for forecasts being the best way to achieve informed decision-making.
Survive Personal Life:
Pete highlighted the need for people to check their tolerance. Tolerance is a term Pete uses for accepting bad decisions due to financial freedom. He challenged listeners to ask “what deficiencies have I now accepted as okay?”
Pete then transitioned toward some barometers for measuring health entering a financial headwind. He mentioned potential drops in income, the potential danger of variable income, debt, and more. He also noted that people who make more money and are more well-educated are often more likely to make financial errors in difficult situations.
Survive Businesses and Personal Life Overlap:
Brenna added to this concept by stating that employers must approach their employees holistically. She highlighted a survey where 78% of employees are distracted by their personal finances at work. To be the best employer, business leaders must have the wherewithal of their employees’ financial well-being.
Later on, Pete advocates for reciprocation of employee engagement. Employee engagement invests deeply into the business’s financial and cultural goals. Pete also advocates for employer engagement to care and invest in the personal development and financial well-being of their employees. Tom added to this point by stating that not having the budget to invest in your employees is short-sighted.
Tom eagerly jumps into the opportunity of recession. He referenced an article that states nearly 50% of Fortune 500 companies started during a recession. As an entrepreneur, he stated this should cause you to ask yourself: Can I provide a new service? Is this a good time to buy a business? What problems can I solve?
Thrive Personal Life:
Pete began by stating that 2020 was one of the best years of personal finance decisions ever. However, he also noted that a current or upcoming recession would not be like a light switch. He encourages entrepreneurs and people, in general, to bet on themselves and start hunkering down on their finances. He dismisses the idea of “well it’s impossible to know.” Instead, he states that whether you’re an entrepreneur who needs a financial forecast or an employee who needs more clarity of personal finance benchmarks, look for experts because you CAN know!
Thrive Businesses and Personal Life Overlap:
Brenna highlighted the potential for businesses to show they truly care about their employees during a recession. Transparency and investing in employees despite an economic downturn will be mutually beneficial for employers and employees.
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