Playing it safe involves using a core set of tactics that help you protect and optimize your business during hard times. Some tried and tested methods of preparing for crises are as relevant now as they ever were.
Particularly in challenging times, businesses must not compromise on fundamentals that keep their companies safe and secure. For example, crime often increases in recessions. In 2008, the number of online fraud cases increased 33% in the United States.6 Companies cannot afford to compromise their defenses.
Companies also need to maintain strong governance standards and mitigate against behavioral risks. “Situations where executives stray from company values or ethical behavior can be problematic even in good times,” notes John King, EY Americas Vice Chair — Assurance, “but can be doubly challenging in turbulent conditions, as regulators may be even more vigilant.”
Similarly, it is important for firms to take measures to both protect their brands and look for opportunities to build further loyalty by staying true to their purpose in tough times. A survey undertaken by EY reveals that 73% of respondents believe that a well-integrated purpose helps organizations navigate challenging times by building trust and strengthening relationships with stakeholders. In environments where trust erodes, maintaining your status as a trusted brand can pay great dividends. Protecting your core value, the value you deliver to all your stakeholders, means protecting your core values, or what you stand for.
In addition to adopting these protective measures, companies also need to optimize their operations as the global economy cools.
Companies that outperformed their peers in the last two recessions had taken steps to both protect and optimize their businesses before recession hit. By doing so, they positioned themselves to take advantage of new opportunities that economic downturns always create.