We are officially in a recession. Now is the time to act!

When you have been in business for over 25 years, you have the advantage of having observed different markets, the economy in general and — above all ­—business leaders’ reactions.

Inevitably, sooner or later, there is an economic slowdown. The economy contracts, and we are faced with either a technical or a real recession. So what should we do?

The crisis in the 1980s, which was the most significant one for me, really had a big impact. What did we see back then? Most businesses panicked. They cut their expenses every which way without evaluating what negative effects this might have when the economy picked up again. For many, this had catastrophic effects.

As a business leader, what is your role in this crisis?

In these tumultuous times, if you are an entrepreneur or company executive, you want to be sure to invest in your organization.

Don’t be paralyzed by fear. Think ahead to the recovery.

In a crisis, we face markets that are even more competitive than usual ­— which is all the more reason to be very attentive to how your clients and collaborators see your brand.

To do this, you need to evaluate what will allow you to work on two fronts, in both the short and the medium term.

What should your company invest in?

In a nutshell, new skills! Invest in technology, tools, or simply new ideas. Your organization should be continually active.

Internally, this is good for your human resources. Employees will sense that you are in control. Their potential will help you make gains. You can count on that.

Externally, you will send a clear message to the market and to your clients: You are a dynamic company and you are part of the formula for their own success.

With this strategic approach, you should have a clear picture of your financial and human capacity and priorities.

Remember not to limit yourself to emphasising the management of normal daily tasks. Always involve your whole organization in your company’s overall approach and positioning.

You can probably see that my recommendations touch on two things that are vital to your business: maintaining and strengthening your brand and increasing your market share.

It’s up to you. Keeping the status quo is not an option in this economy.

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Philippe Jacques

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