Here’s what founders and executives should focus on • TechCrunch

Recent economic topics With the stock market plummeting, high inflation, and widespread talk of recession. At Armanino, we use the term “VUCA” to describe such broad negative market conditions. Standing for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, VUCA represents the many challenges facing business owners and operators today.

Such times can distinguish well-managed companies from those with directional or operational flaws. Forward-looking owners and C-suite executives who provide strong direction are more likely to steer their companies through the storm. Facing a sea of ​​challenges, leaders have clear opportunities to implement critical changes and prepare for a better future.

As a business owner and CEO, protecting and managing through VUCA is a constant focus for me. We’ve helped thousands of companies — from seed-round startups and late-stage unicorns to mature public companies — explore the practices that enable them to survive and thrive. Having helped build startups and been with many unicorns over the past few decades, I’ve seen how some of the best founders and executives can stop their companies from successfully thriving through an IPO during stressful times. , SPAC exit or stable growth.

It may seem counterintuitive, but AI’s ability to assess the quality of customer interactions can help companies become more “human.”

Looking back at what these businesses have done to succeed, my best advice for company leaders now experiencing VUCA is to leverage their operations, invest in digital transformation and seek M&A opportunities.

Encourage operations to take advantage of better market conditions in the future

Companies focus on running their businesses better in difficult market conditions so that they emerge stronger when the economic conditions improve. In some cases, companies that have been targeting IPOs for 2022 or offering cash-flows will postpone it to Q1 or Q2 of 2023, if not now.

Empowerment tasks involve understanding and communicating relevant metrics. First, does your team understand the metrics your company’s success depends on? Second, do your employees understand those numbers and how they impact you? When times are tough, everyone in the organization needs to understand the most important metrics and how to improve so they know what to do and why their roles matter.

We have noticed that companies are placing more emphasis on the idea of ​​achieving cash flow-positive status. In the past, the “revenue at all costs” approach was often preferred. Now it’s time to focus on identifying the best income and how to manage expenses to reach a certain cash flow positive level, or at least a clear direction towards it.

In times of profitability, companies have historically focused on growing revenue by adding new accounts. During a downturn, it’s critical to focus laser on your most engaged customers and invest in building deeper relationships with your less fickle customers. Businesses should take a deep look at key accounts to analyze relationship strength and strengthen these relationships. In fact, many companies are hiring more account managers than salespeople to improve customer relations and promote additional services to paying customers.

Invest in digital transformation to make your data actionable

If being cash flow positive and developing deep customer relationships are important goals, focusing on technology and digital transformation is essential. Businesses need to assess how they can be more efficient with infrastructure and use more valuable information from data collection.

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