The CFO'S Perspective

How are Inflationary Pressures Affecting Manufacturers?

With US inflation rates rising rapidly small and large manufacturers alike are being affected by inflationary pressures in much the same way, although small manufacturers will undoubtedly feel the sting of rising inflation more deeply than their larger counterparts. These pressures are being further exacerbated by:

Knowing that a recession may be coming does not tell us when, why, or how it may occur. However, paired with dropping small business and consumer confidence, a looming recession is only going to worsen the effects of rising inflation rates on US manufacturers.

Topics: Economic Trends Manufacturing COVID-19

How Much Will Raises Be This Year?

With so much economic uncertainty the employment landscape in 2022 will likely remain tumultuous. Information about how many people are employed, where, and for how much is going to continue to dominate the business news headlines. And much like last year, compensation will be at the forefront of many employees’ minds as they watch their cost of living increase and worry whether their pay will keep pace.

Of course, for the nation’s unemployed, discussions about how compensation may fluctuate this year remain inconsequential. And for small businesses that have been doing their best to absorb rising costs without laying people off or shutting down, the idea of giving raises this year is likely going to be a moot point. But for middle management, executive leadership, and HR personnel at mid-sized to large companies, the question of what to expect in the way of raises remains critical to business planning.

So, what should you plan for a raise this year?

Topics: Recruiting Economic Trends Hiring Planning Staffing Financial Projections HR Budgeting Forecasting Expenses Salaries

Is Office Space Obsolete?

With a large segment of the workforce still working from home, what does this mean for the future of commercial real estate? According to recent data, office vacancy rates are over 16% right now (up from 9% in late 2019) and subleased space is coming back on the market. This has led many analysts to wonder whether companies still need the offices they had before and what will happen to all the vacant office space if companies do not return.

What does the future hold? Will the office building survive COVID-19, or is office space now obsolete?

Topics: Economic Trends Planning Transition

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

Where to Get CARES Act Resources

The recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") contains over 800 pages of legislation to provide financial relief during this time of crisis. The bill provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

In response to numerous requests, we are providing resources to help you understand the CARES Act. To the best of our knowledge, these resources are current, but please check with the appropriate agencies to confirm the details.

Find out what the CARES Act means for you, your family, and your business.

Topics: Economic Trends News Planning Resources

Is Your Business Prepared for an Economic Downturn?

Being prepared for an economic downturn is fundamentally good advice. The economy is cyclical and eventually there will be a downturn of some sort. Preparation ultimately boils down to two basic business disciplines.

Topics: Economic Trends Planning Forecasting