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Recession playbook for CFOs

CFOs are managing rising costs while facing consistent high inflation, global supply challenges and talent scarcity. In this article we present you with actionable insights to help your organisation spend strategically, accelerate digital initiatives and win through this period of uncertainty.

Develop a forward-looking vision of your ideal customer profile

Unique headwinds, including persistent inflation and supply shortages are forcing business leaders to reevaluate their forecasts and cut their budgets wherever they can.

But what should you cut and what should you keep?

To answer this, it’s important to prioritise based on the future profile of your customers and employees.

Will your customers rely on new technologies? Will your employees be fully remote?

It’s important to develop a forward-looking vision for your ideal customer profile so that you can prioritise your spend towards best enabling and creating value for them.

Prioritise digital services

As a result of the pandemic, the increased demand for online services – such as e-learning, e-commerce, virtual meetings and digital payments – has pushed businesses to be fully present online.

Improving your reliance on digital services will allow you to better serve your customers and, done correctly, it will increase the efficiency of your business through insight and automation.

Prioritising budget for digital services will enable you to pivot and adjust more efficiently.

To action this, business leaders must challenge their existing workflows and processes to identify opportunities for automation and free up their employees’ time. Increasing your employees’ productivity has the same effect as increasing the size of the workforce at no extra cost, so should be a big focus during periods of uncertainty.

Focus on value-add

Once you’ve developed a vision of your future customers, you can identify digital services that will enable your business to maximise the additional value it can offer them. The key is to embed your business as integral to their operations and routines.

Think creatively when considering what will provide the best return on investment. It could be freeing up specific employees’ time through productivity tools or using digital services to provide new or improved value to your customers.

Once you’ve identified the digital services you’ll use, narrow the measurement metrics to the few that align with the outcomes most impactful on your value-add. Focus on what you really want to achieve such as customer satisfaction, customer retention or customer lifetime value.

Double down

The key takeaway to surviving any period of uncertainty is to double down on your customers and the value your business adds to them.

Whether it’s B2B or B2C, if you can embed your product into their daily operations, come sunshine or downpour they will stay loyal to the service you offer them.

Make sure every penny you spend is contributing to this, directly or indirectly.

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