The CFO'S Perspective

Is It Time to Downsize Your Business?

Downsizing is never a light topic to broach, but for businesses that are financially compromised or experiencing a reduction in demand, it is important to fully understand before any strategic planning can begin.

Downsizing is often tied to a reduction in headcount. Headcount is more than just a number, which is why downsizing should be approached with the utmost care and consideration. Knowing why a company should downsize, what kind of risk is associated with doing so, and how to avoid common mistakes is key to increasing the likelihood that your reduction efforts will be successful.

Use this guide to get a better understanding of the implications of downsizing and help inform your strategic planning as it relates to both maintaining your business and preparing it for sale.

Topics: Economic Trends Mergers and Acquisitions Planning Staffing Leadership Forecasting Expenses Profit Margin Assessment Strategy COVID-19

Weathering a Prolonged Recession – Expert Tips from Senior Leadership

Regardless of what precipitates a recession, economic ebbs and flows are to be expected over time. Recessions can be caused by a period of contraction that inevitably comes after economic expansion or a sudden and unexpected economic shock.

While the coronavirus recession is fresh on our minds, it is not the first nor will it be the last recession that today’s businesses face. Knowing how to weather a recession is an essential management skill regardless of how long it lasts. However, facing a prolonged recession poses unique challenges that can test even the most adept leaders.

Our team of experienced CFOs shares their top tips on getting through a recession and coming out stronger on the other side:

Topics: Economic Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Risk Management Change Management Transition Strategy COVID-19

How to Strategically Invest in your Business During a Downturn

A recession or downturn in the market is one of the most demanding scenarios for senior leadership to weather because there are so many possible responses to consider. Each decision leadership makes during this critical time can have a significant effect on the company’s ability to come out on the other side at all, let alone seize available opportunities to grow in the process. So, how can you strategically invest in your business during a downturn to increase the likelihood that it will be able to emerge stronger?

It is critical to act swiftly instead of ignoring the warning signs that a downturn is coming, worsening, or may last longer than anticipated. However, that does not mean giving into kneejerk reactions. A Harvard Business Review article summarizes it best by saying,

“Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. But rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (how much worse are things likely to get? how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of uncoordinated moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one.”

Have honest conversations with your leadership team to solicit feedback on how to proceed while leaning on the data. Focus on efforts on strategically managing expenses, acquiring assets to achieve your goals, prioritizing customer relationships, and developing new markets while focusing on your core competencies.

Topics: Economic Trends Leadership Growth Risk Management Strategy COVID-19

Cash Management Strategies: Selling Accounts Receivable

With government assistance waning, business owners are evaluating other ways to improve cash flow.

Since slow-paying clients are one of the biggest killers of cash flow, some companies choose to sell their invoices to recoup some of that missing revenue more quickly. This strategy, known as invoice factoring, is a way for companies to get an infusion of cash from the products they have already sold or services they have already performed from a third-party that is willing to advance them the funds before customers pay.

Alternatively, companies that do not want to sell their invoices, and may not want, or can’t, pursue a line of credit with a traditional business bank, can borrow money against their invoices from a specialty lender. This strategy, known as invoice financing, not only improves cash flow but can also serve as a means of borrowing for businesses that cannot readily obtain other lines of credit.

Each strategy has differences to consider. Find out more about invoice factoring and invoice financing to determine which approach is right for your business.

Topics: Cash Flow Accounts Receivable Budgeting Financing COVID-19

Vendor Management – Pay Now or Pay Later?

Effective cash flow management requires careful control of both money coming in and going out. While practices like shortening payment terms, offering variable pricing, and pursuing collections can increase the timeliness and amount of money coming in, delaying payments to vendors can slow cash outflows, providing the float needed to sustain operations during difficult times.

In an article about re-opening your business, Jeff Dunn explains succinctly, “Determine which vendors are critical to your day-to-day operations and pay them as timely as possible; which are important but can be paid slowly; and which are not important going forward that will be paid when able.”

How do you decide who to pay now and who to pay later, and how do you abide by vendor management best practices while doing both? This quick guide will help you answer those questions to improve your cash flow position right away.

Topics: Planning Cash Flow Expenses Strategy COVID-19