There is a looming recession forcing entrepreneurs, and executives to save up for the unpredictable future. Some entrepreneurs are however astute, applying tested strategies that is keeping them ahead of their time
Market downturns have characterized the past six months, and this has put the big players in panic mode. The general advice for entrepreneurs out there is to adopt a defensive disposition by securing their funds, and becoming more austere about spending. The panic generated these past few months is reflecting on the market.
Thoroughbred strategists understand that chaos is a ladder. Entrepreneurship is all about being innovative, solving problems, and making the best of every situation. The certified entrepreneur must understand that this is the critical point in time to become offensive as opposed to being defensive. Choosing a tactics, and practically using this tactic are two entirely different things. Entrepreneurs should not be stuck.
Below is a six step strategy for entrepreneurs to become offensive as we gradually advance into 2023:
1. Hire new talent
Hiring new talent has suddenly become possible, and even easier in recent times. Gone are the days when top talents had countless offers in front of them to pick from. The prevailing global trend of layoffs characterizing early stage start-ups especially has taken a toll on the ecosystem. Start-ups are not hiring presently, and the best talents are up for grabs right now. The offensive entrepreneurs will do well to leverage on the current talent explosion in the market, which is the biggest in recent years, to pick up quality talent that can impact companies. There is a remarkably talented pool of professionals currently sitting idle, and waiting for a place to express their tremendous talent. Start-ups with foresight are exploiting this opportunity.
2. Improve your executive team
Similar to the first point made above, upgrading your executive team is currently easier than it has ever been. The same situation that has affected the talent pool is also troubling C level executives. Most of these executives have either been laid off, or are currently disenchanted, and unmotivated where they are presently. Executives are unashamedly looking out for better offers available. Reconsider your team of executives, and if you find loopholes, shop in the buoyant market to enhance your executive team. Some of the best executives are waiting to be scooped up.
3. Improve your company’s process
Sometimes the consequence of moving too fast is that quality is compromised, whether consciously or unconsciously. How can entrepreneurs take advantage of these times? By improving their company mechanism. Evaluate your process, and secure improvements, and consistency. When things become slow on business, it is often times a blessing in disguise because it allows for reflections to identify what is working, and what isn’t working.
Identify what can make your company more effective, and efficient. Question is, how can you achieve better results? This may require anything from retraining your company interviewer, establishing an improved prescript for writing job descriptions and evaluating candidates, to reorganizing product development prioritization process. All these can make companies more productive.
4. Invest in your product & services
This is an actual extension of the aforementioned reorganization of the product development prioritization process. When your product developers have fewer distractions, be on the offensive by giving them ample alone time to create. Your engineers are in their element when they are given the independence to concretize, and articulate new visions. This independence is one of the best ways to invest in them, and there is no better time than this. Get closer to your customers, understand them, recover them, and gather new information to improve on what your company offers. When things pick up again, your company cannot afford to remain the same.
5. Execute small, targeted M&A
Acquiring new assets including start-ups were a bit tricky a year ago because they were overpriced. There is an economic reset which has made new acquisitions much easier. The current panic in the market means businesses are looking to secure capital, and count their losses. The offensive player-entrepreneurs can make the best of this opportunity. This is the best time to invest into platforms, customer bases, and an excellent and more productive team. Investors are also on the lookout for businesses with great visions to invest in at a more decent price as opposed to the unrealistic valuations few years ago. Update your skills as an acquirer, and if you already have, now is the time to test the waters.
6. Seek for Investors
Now is the best time to position yourself for new investors. Investors are on the lookout for businesses that they can finance. What has been witnessed in terms of investments in the start-up ecosystem in recent years is unprecedented. Have a thriving business with prospects which distinguishes itself from others, and you can be positioned to receive offers from readily available investors. Most of the procedures we have enumerated so far require capital to execute, and there is a pool of financial support out there waiting to be explored.
The time to move from playing defense to offense is now for entrepreneurs, and businesses which act now will be miles ahead of their contemporaries when stock is taken in the future.
As originally reported in (https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/now-is-the-time-for-entrepreneurs-to-play-offense)