Here it is in black and white: South Africa has been teetering on the edge of a technical recession since last year.
OK, we know you know that, and we also know that because of that you have a lot less time, money and staff to keep yourself in the black.
But before you go off on a caffeine-aided rampage to try salvage the situation, read the rest of this article with the cup of coffee you’re currently clutching in your resources-strapped, white-knuckled grip.
- Since the end of 2018, South Africa’s economic growth has remained mediocre at best
- Retrenchments are rife, leaving the remaining few employees with both hurt morale and productivity at the worst possible time
- The projected economic growth is half of what it needs to be
- We are in a Catch-22 of joblessness and poor economic growth feeding each other in a vicious cycle
Before you shatter that coffee cup with the strength of your panicked grip, let’s take a step back and have a quick look at what previous recessions have taught us:
Research and case studies on the Great Recession both confirm and challenge some conventional wisdom. Walter Frick of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) summarises the four most influential areas.
- Debt - the lower your debt, the better you fare in a recession, and shedding assets might be better than shedding staff.
- Decision making - spreading decision-making is a better buffer than hoarding it at top management.
- Workforce management - find creative ways to cut staff costs that don’t rely on retrenchments.
- Digital transformation - hold this thought, more on this now.
The main take-away is that “recessions are a high-pressure exercise in change management, and to navigate one successfully, a company needs to be flexible and ready to adjust.” (Read full article here.)
The quickest win of all of these is digital transformation. Debt reduction, organisational restructuring and workforce management take a lot more time than you might have to recession-proof your business, so taking advantage of existing technologies is the logical place to start. The HBR research showed that downturns actually appear to encourage the adoption of new technologies, which makes a lot of sense. Automation and optimisation give you more for less, freeing up your resource-strapped employees from mundane repetitive tasks. Conventional wisdom says that new tech is a big ticket item, and being cash-strapped as you are, it is understandable that you wouldn’t want to use those precious pennies on a seemingly big investment. We know this, and have developed a range of finance options that will give you the massive ROI you need in a recession, without annihilating your cash flow.
What you will get from this flexible and affordable investment is a cost-effective and modular combination of Device as a Service (DaaS), OPEX vs CAPEX models, Software as a Service (SaaS) and business process automation and optimisation. It’s a win-win: flexibility in cost plus increased productivity, without huge investment in infrastructure or complex change management requirements for implementation.
Being disruptors, we are in the business of finding opportunities in difficulty. By guiding you in a pro-active rather than reactive approach, AYOH could well help your business not just to survive, but thrive, as the HBR research shows happened with well-prepared businesses in previous recessions. We are working on a ‘Recession Survival Kit’, to help your business thrive in the concrete jungle, get more for less, and recession-proof your business. If you don’t have time to wait for that, give us a call or drop us a mail - we will come meet with you and give you a head start on your competition.