Hot Topic: Preparing and navigating an economic downturn

During flourishing times, it’s easy to leak time, energy, efficiency, and potential profit because there will always be more to be made tomorrow! But as we head into uncertain economic times, Heidi Seal from Business Sense tells us that strong and efficient systems give businesses more predictability and consistency, reduce key person dependency, and ensure we optimise profit. 

Heidi says a simple framework to ensure your business is geared towards maximising delivery is the 4R Maximiser Framework. This framework is a useful tool to help you map out your key business systems and processes.

For example, you may wish to look at your client onboarding process, how a lead is received and how it is converted to a sale. It is helpful to write down the key steps involved in the process in detail, and then run it through the following 4R framework to ensure you’re maximising your time, energy, and efficiency where necessary.

#1. Remove anything that doesn’t add value

What can be removed? Remove anything that doesn’t add value. Ask why we do it this way, and why do it at all. Often there are meetings, over-documentation, excessive emails, and things that don’t matter to the customer that can be removed.

#2. Reduce what’s necessary

Ask yourself, what is necessary and what could be reduced. Setting stricter boundaries and processes around how much time is spent on ‘busy’ work, such as emails and scope creep that doesn’t actually add value to the completion or goal of the project. Using better scripts, structure, and technology can help a lot too.

#3.  Re-allocate what needs to be done

What needs to be done and what can be automated or delegated? As businesses and technology evolve, workers still end up completing menial tasks. It can take a bit of time upfront to automate things, but the long-term value is worth it.

#4. Retain the most valuable parts

Make sure you retain the most valuable parts. Keep what matters most and remove anything else.

Now that you’ve maximsed your systems, make sure you document it, communicate it with all staff who need to know, and update it when necessary. The great thing is you can apply this framework across lots of other areas of your business, such as your time as a business owner, your team’s time, and your financials.

Arrow pointing down symbolising preparing and navigating an economic downturn

This will not only set you up to have a more focused, efficient business during uncertain economic times, but it will also ensure you have a reliable foundation for when the upturn comes to be able to maximise opportunities for growth!

Heidi Seal owns Business Sense Consulting and delivers both Process Consulting and Improvement Coaching services.  

As a business process consultant she consults on, and provides implementation and training from a specialist software stack. As a business improvement coach she works with business owners needing better systems and processes to untangle a pathway forward, prioritize and implement a plan together. She also run12-monthonth program “The Self Running Business that moves people from business operator to business owner. All of her work is centered around winning back time for business owners, creating efficiency, having smooth and calm operations, and optimising bottom line profits for business. To get in touch with Heidi email heidi@businesssence.co.nz. 


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