No one likes the idea of recessions. The economic outlook for the remainder of 2023 presents challenges as the recession continues. Indicators suggest a slow and fragile recovery, with projections of modest GDP growth.
During an economic turmoil, consumer preferences and perceptions towards goods and services take a turn – there is a heightened awareness of cost and a greater emphasis on necessities. For organizational leaders to succeed during a recession, they must adapt their offerings and strategies to align with these shifts in consumer preferences.
This downturn presents unique challenges and opportunities for practice leaders in the healthcare industry. With decreased healthcare expenditures, changing insurance coverage, and evolving patient demands, practices must adapt to a complex landscape. Practice leaders must demonstrate visionary thinking and strong leadership to thrive in this challenging climate and achieve remarkable growth.
At My Mountain Mover, our CEO, Amanda Desuacido, epitomizes the qualities of a strong, visionary leader. She has an awe-inspiring ability to find opportunities within every challenge, even during a recession. With a background in business management economics and experience as an economics field study coordinator at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Amanda brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role.
As the leader of a company with more than 700 virtual medical assistants, Amanda makes strategic decisions that steer My Mountain Mover toward success. As CEO, she sets the vision and direction, ensuring that we thrive in the fiercely competitive outsourcing industry – even in the face of a troubled economy.
To help businesses and practices drive growth in the midst of a recession, here are some insights from My Mountain Mover’s CEO:
Key Business Considerations Leaders Should Make
Going beyond organizational stability and promoting growth requires leaders to have a comprehensive understanding of their company. Leaders can make informed decisions and identify the best steps by understanding the industry a business or practice operates and its correlation to the economic climate. As Amanda puts it;
“You must look at your company in terms of where it fits in the recession. You need to understand the industry that you’re in and how that really relays into a recession.”
Part of understanding one’s organization is knowing the people who help keep its wheels turning. One of the strongest factors that make or break the success of an organization during a recession is its people, as they are the ones putting the vision of leaders into action. For this reason, leaders must ensure that they place their people where they can perform at their maximum.
“One of the first things I would do is to look at my leadership team holistically and figure out who the strongest leaders are because you have to make sure you have the right people – the ones who are going to help you in a recession” she adds.
In the world of business, numbers speak volumes. Taking this into account, it’s crucial for leaders to truly understand the numerical representation of their organization. By diving deep into their data, leaders gain invaluable insights that inform their decisions on how to safeguard their stability and create growth opportunities. In Amanda’s words;
“You really need to know your numbers as a leader of an organization when heading into a recession, whether that’s through creating a company scorecard, sitting with your leadership team every week, or looking at your financials on a regular basis. Your numbers must be leading indicators instead of lagging indicators.”
A person’s growth stops when they stop learning – the same can be said about organizations and their leaders. To achieve growth in challenging times with limited resources, leaders of businesses and practices must seek and embrace insights from those who have successfully navigated through recessions. According to Amanda;
“Read all the business books that you can get your hands on because it’s not rocket science. Businesses have gone through recessions for hundreds of years, and there are a lot of very smart people who have written really good cheat sheet information on that stuff.”
Taking the Right Risks
During a recession, it may seem safest for leaders to simply maintain the status quo in their organization. However, taking certain risks has the potential to bring about remarkable growth and success. Granted, this is easier said than done when the economy is struggling. Yet, by deeply understanding one’s organization and its intricacies, leaders can develop the intuition to distinguish which risks are and aren’t worth taking. As Amanda says;
“Trust your gut. If you’re the leader of an organization and you’re passionate about it, your gut will often tell you if it’s too risky or not.”
Leaders must not only rely on their own instincts, though, because an organization encompasses more than just the person who gets to call the shots. It takes multiple people in different job roles to push a company towards its intended direction, and leaders should consider these people’s opinions because they have a unique understanding of the business or practice. Amanda knows this too well, which is why she says that;
“Consult your ideas with your leadership team and don’t just make decisions based on what you think is best. Make sure that every one of your people is fully committed to taking this risk with you.”
Identifying risks worth taking is one thing, but successfully executing them is another. Promoting organizational growth demands a strategic mindset and a strong understanding of how to turn daring ideas into reality. For this reason, leaders must leverage their in-depth understanding of their organization to develop a strong strategy that turns risks into victories.
How Leaders Can Strengthen Their Team
In the business world, it is widely recognized that the strength of an organization relies heavily on the strength of its people. By empowering and developing the people within the organization, businesses can not only survive but also thrive during a recession. To accomplish this goal, Amanda swears by this approach;
“Always be encouraging. Make sure you go the extra mile in appreciating your people, even if the circumstances don’t really call for it. If they feel like you have their back, they will rally for you and have your back as well. Always look for ways to encourage people, and make it fun, right? You’re at work for eight hours a day. We always try to make it fun here, and I think that keeps morale high even in tough times.”
Boosting team morale during tough economic times may not appear to contribute directly to business growth, but it plays a significant role in making team members feel valued. Inspired by Dale Carnegie’s book, Amanda highlights the importance of creating a sense of importance for team members.
“I am reading this book called ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’ and in this book, he talks about how every person has an innate desire to feel important. When challenging times occur, often what CEOs get wrong is that they start criticizing their people more because they’re under stress. It’s so easy to start pointing fingers, but that’s never motivating for people. We respond better through appreciation and the feeling of importance.”
Truly, her suggestion for leaders to continue learning by reading as many books as possible couldn’t be any more effective.
How To Innovate During a Recession
Trying to think outside the box with limited resources is difficult. However, innovating doesn’t have to be costly as it doesn’t necessarily mean investing in the latest equipment. To continue growth during a recession, Amanda advocates strengthening an organization from within.
“What you can easily do that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money is implementing a strong operational system within your organization. This will expose you to a lot of inefficiencies in your team that you can improve on. It also allows you to get super organized,” she expounds.
Strengthening an organization from within fosters resilience and adaptability in facing challenges. Business or practice leaders can streamline their processes and enhance operational effectiveness by focusing on internal improvements. Moreover, this approach strengthens the very foundation of the business and positions the organization for sustainable growth and success in a dynamic and competitive industry.
How to Gain an Edge Against the Competition
In business, the age-old saying “the customer is always right” is frequently thrown around. Though leaders should not take it literally, it emphasizes the significant role of customer opinions in determining the direction a business or practice should take. As a CEO, Amanda understands the significance of consumer opinions, which is why she says that leaders should;
“Listen to your customers. They will tell you how to get ahead, and it’s so true. Every single time, they will tell you what they need and what they don’t like from you. You just need to have the courage to listen to them and actually implement everything with quality and care. You might have the same product as your competitors, but the way you deliver your product can set you apart.”
Indeed, consumer feedback is a valuable resource for determining the trajectory in which an organization can grow the most during a recession. However, leaders should also embrace the transformative potential of data collection and competitor research in achieving the same objective. To support this, Amanda remarks;
“Make sure that you are researching what your competitors are doing, and don’t be afraid to be unique, right? Look at your offerings and figure out what you can be the best at, and don’t be afraid to pursue that.”
5 Tips from Amanda for Business Growth Amid a Recession
Do Comprehensive Research
To achieve growth, organizations must clearly understand their position within the industry, financial landscape, consumer perspective, and service quality. By conducting thorough research in these areas, leaders can gain valuable insights into how they can effectively drive growth amid a turbulent economy.
Invest In Your People
In times of economic uncertainty, investing in an organization’s team members is essential for leaders as these people are among the most vital assets to any business or practice. By guiding and cultivating their talents, leaders can increase productivity, encourage innovation, and foster adaptability without breaking the bank.
Differentiate Yourself From the Competition
Identifying and nurturing competitive edges has always been good practice for businesses, but a recession makes it critical. Leaders can set themselves apart in a time of limited means by going the extra mile to deliver the best possible service. Even in saturated markets, clients will gravitate more toward organizations that provide their service with quality and care.
Implement a Strong Operational System
To enable efficient processes despite having limited resources, leaders should prioritize implementing a strong operational system within their organization. Doing so doesn’t necessarily require significant financial investments, as there are online resources that help maximize operational efficiency within budgetary constraints.
Take Every Challenge as an Opportunity
No matter how difficult, leaders must embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation. By reframing adversity as a chance to optimize an organization, explore new markets, and adapt strategies, leaders can position their business or practice for long-term success and emerge stronger from the economic downturn.
There’s no denying that a recession is not what businesses or practices would consider their ideal situation. However, visionary leaders with a strategic approach can turn adversity into triumph. One of the most effective methods to push an organization forward is leveraging alternative staffing solutions. Amanda’s company, My Mountain Mover, prides itself as the top provider of virtual talent for healthcare practices in the US. We’ll let her explain why that is;
“When you choose My Mountain Mover, you’re not only getting a VA, but you’re also getting an entire full service support system. It’s a smart investment as it requires very little effort from you, but it comes with a huge, tremendous upside. It takes less than 30 days to hire someone. It’s less than $2,000 a month for a full-time virtual staff.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, or if you are a go-getter in your business, this is such a smart move on your part because there are so many benefits to it!”