6 Ways To Recession Proof Your Business


We are headed into Q3 and it seems recession talk looms on every news channel. Many of us are weary from the last two years of leadership, and just the thought of a recession is exhausting, but I believe it is an opportunity. A majority of our Shandel Group team met a few weeks ago to strategize how we are going to proactively help our clients to prepare, weather, and thrive.

We narrowed it down to 6 main points that fit nicely into an appropriate acronym S.T.E.A.D.Y. The two definitions of Steady from the Oxford online dictionary are as follows: 1. Firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving. 2. Regular, even, and continuous in development, frequency, or intensity.                

Our motto: "Stay Steady and Thrive." Emphasis on the Thrive part!                        


Simplify Everything                                                        

Train, Teach & Invest in Your Talent                                                        

Elevate Structure

Attitude is Everything

Double Down on Culture

Your Leadership First        

Simplify Everything                                                        

“Simplify everything so you can have clarity for the journey.” - Shandel Sutherland                

1. Get healthy! Just like we go to the doctor for our annual check-up, chances are your business is due for a check-up on its health in order to focus on what matters now. Run an Organizational Optimization Diagnostic - a fast track to identifying any looming issues in regards to People, Priorities, and Performance. Make sure your company is optimized and healthy to weather this next season.        

2. Prune. Proactively or Reactively, the choice is yours, but pruning happens. Last year, I painfully pruned back my beautiful hydrangeas to little sticks. It was awful, but this Spring they are bigger and brighter than ever. The pruning hurts, but wow the results. Think about every area of your business. Ongoing pruning of cutting dead things off our plants, snipping suckers, and getting rid of weeds is what every leader needs to be proactively aware of before outside forces do it for you.                                                

3. Streamline systems and embrace automation as soon and as much as makes sense. It is time to be open-minded to letting go of “the way it’s always been” and try new technologies or even go back to old school ways because they worked better, whatever it is for you, be curious and ready to challenge your old ways to embrace efficiency.                                                

Train, Teach & Invest in Talent                                                

Next comes focusing on your people, your talent, as your most valuable asset. Your people have been through a lot from being laid off during COVID, then overworked during the labor shortage, and now looming layoffs and huge inflation that truly hits the middle-class worker hard. Have empathy for your employees and commit to investing in them, both as people first and as valuable assets that are precious to you.                                                

Training, or lack thereof, is always a complaint in every employee engagement survey we do; coming in second only to Communication, which is always the number one thing employees crave. Conflict and turnover are what you want to minimize. When we do our Clarity Plus Report training, we love training people on how to communicate with someone of a different communication style. What are the other areas your team needs training in?                                                

Teaching is what you do after someone has been trained. Patiently showing them and leading them to their next level by asking good questions in a way that their style will understand and can implement.

Investment into training and teaching indeed does cost money but it also costs time, energy, and patience. The ROI will easily outweigh the investment, but you have to be committed to it.                                                

Elevate Structure

This is where you take the time and implement all the issues you identified in your Organizational Optimization Diagnostic in regards to processes, systems, and broken procedures. Your team will be inspired to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and with the clarity you have from simplifying your structure, and with a team that is fully trained, it is time to sharpen the edge of the spear for the victory ahead.                                                

The first three points are for implementation, the next three are the mindset and the environment we create to make the first points work. In Q3, we are doing an entire season on our LEAD WITH CLARITY Podcast on this exact subject. We can learn and grow together through this strategic endeavor, recession or not!

I will give you highlights for the 3 remaining points.

Attitude is Everything                                        

Charles Swindoll’s quote on attitude, pretty much sums this section up. Just remember it is simple, it’s just not easy.


Double Down on Culture                                

  1. VALUES. Are you and every member of your team, living and breathing the purpose, mission, and values? If not, make a fast effort to get back to them. If you are not clear on them, get us on board with you ASAP to discover and define those values. It is not that you ‘have'' them, it is that you live them, and make decisions with those values in mind.
  2. DEFINE IT CLEARLY. Do you define your culture or are you defined by your culture? What I mean by that is that we all have a company culture and it has its embedded norms...like it or not? For example, in your culture, do you run on time, or it is fine to be 5 minutes late? Some cultures do not embrace change, others demand it. This is the time to make sure that your cultural norms are the ones that you are driving and are helping you achieve your purpose!
  3. Encourage innovation. Reward thinking outside the box. Make it safe in your culture to make mistakes. Set limits on those mistakes, yet value the intentionality of innovation as it fits within your culture and structure.

Your Leadership First                                                

  1. Lead yourself through all the S.T.E.A.D.Y. steps in your personal life. Work the steps, and challenge yourself to some real intentional unplugged rest in the next month to sharpen the proverbial saw and prepare for the marathon ahead. Listen to our podcast or check out my CAVU Vlog on rest.         
  1. Walk the talk. Be authentic. Grow your Emotional Intelligence by focusing more than ever on your Self-Awareness. Do the coaching work to grow your own leadership first and then demand it from your team. Personal GROWTH is not optional.
  2. Lead by serving. Recall the last series we did on the S.E.R.V.E. model of leadership. Dive deep with a trusted advisor on the huge benefits of self-awareness, extending trust, real connections, vision-focused living and empowering others to shine.


It is a little longer than I like these quarterly newsletters to be, but our team has enough foresight to extend our arms full of tools and resources to help you thrive in this next season. Check out shandelgroup.com/CAVU for weekly tips for all levels of leadership in your organization.


Be The Best You Can Be TODAY!