There’s another potentially chaotic year ahead of us in 2023 as inflation continues and economic growth slows. Be prepared, so your business can thrive and not just survive. 

This the reality you have to prepare for in 2023:

  • A recession is likely in the cards for the first quarter of the year–or last quarter. Economists’ warnings about the looming recession range from  mild to dire.
  • The labor market is still in flux. While layoffs continue, key roles remain unfilled.
  • Automation technology is becoming even more mission critical.
  • Customers are expecting to see clear economic value from their vendors, and that’s where understanding your data can help. 

Given that context, you need to establish a consistent strategy that will function like a  lighthouse to guide your business and keep you from crashing on the rocks as you navigate the choppy waters of 2023.  

Take a measured approach to a recession

If you spent 2022 scrambling to save money and reduce your bottom line, it’s time to get ahead of uncertainty and plan better for 2023. Start by focusing on resilience. Narrow down your customer and prospect lists to only the most reliable and profitable industries and sectors for your business.

Most importantly, don’t panic. Avoid making knee jerk crisis decisions every time something changes in the market. Reducing headcount or completely pivoting your business strategy mid-year should be thoughtful decisions, not reactions. 

Plan for a right-sized workforce

The labor market has seen big, and often conflicting, waves of hiring and layoffs over the past two years. The Great Resignation had employees reevaluating how their work fits into their personal lives, what they want out of their career paths, and what they expect from their employers. 

More recently, we’ve seen mass layoffs at some of the most well known technology companies in Silicon Valley like Amazon, Meta, Twitter, and Carvana. What does this mean for you? The hiring market is now ripe for finding talented people to fill critical roles in almost every department, from product management to sales to engineering. 

To get the most out of this situation, take a measured approach to hiring and downsizing your workforce. Focus your recruitment strategy on building compelling career paths, offering continuous learning opportunities, and encouraging a supportive culture to retain your existing and new talent. 

Accept that remote and flexible work is here to stay – at least if you want to keep your best employees and grow your team. When measuring productivity, focus on the output, rather than on how much time employees spend sitting in front of their computer.

We’ve seen how quickly the employment landscape can change so plan ahead for multiple possibilities through scenario-based workforce planning. Know how to manage your workforce for a best-case, most likely, and worst case economy next year.

Invest in automation technology and fractional hiring

Investing in your business technology can be scary when the economy seems to be on the verge of another downward trend, but it’s critically important to keep your infrastructure operating at its best.

Prioritize implementing tools that automate tasks. This will reduce labor costs, free up resources wasted on manual tasks, and help your teams target the most important tasks and projects first. Consider using platform technology that brings together all of the functionality you need into one system, rather than maintaining integrations between point solutions.

Practice fractional hiring for your technology operations to gain more value and flexibility  from your resources. Instead of having admin specialists manage each system individually, bring in experts that can help accelerate work for short term and long term projects. Finally, empower your revenue operations team by moving all of your technology systems management under the revenue operations umbrella, instead of having each department own the tools they use. 

Use data to retain customers and improve performance

Right now, you’re trying to decide where to spend money for the new year. So are your customers. They’ll be assessing each of their vendors to see if they’re getting the value they need. 

Use data to articulate the economic value that you’re delivering so you can avoid being seen as just another line item. Take it further and set yourself up to be a partner in achieving their mission, rather than a vendor that takes money out of their budget. 

If you felt like you were always playing catch up in 2022, now is your chance to plan ahead for thee realities we will confront in 2023. 

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