Recession: happening or not? 3 tips to prep either way.

August 17, 2022

Our question to TV lovers everywhere: more bummed about the finale of “Better Call Saul” or more excited about the premiere of “House of the Dragon”?

In this week’s edition:

  • Prepping your SMB to ride out a recession.
  • Bombas’ CEO on how SMBs can scale their processes to grow.
  • According to Gen Z, remote work is drippin’. (Did we use that right, Zoomers?)


3 tips for fortifying your SMB against a (potential) recession

A man carrying a shield protecting a bag of money from a barrage of arrows.

To recession or not to recession?
That is the question. The predictions are mixed: The GDP drop in the past two quarters points to a recession on the horizon. On the other hand, the rate of inflation dropped last month, the job market is strong, consumer demand for goods is high — so maybe we’re safe?

This “will they, won’t they” is too much.
Many SMBs feel that way — business leaders are torn between fear of recession and hope for growth opportunities after all the pandemic-fueled setbacks.

But you can ease your anxieties by preparing your business for a recession — whether it happens or not. So, here are three tips for recession-proofing your business:

Figure out your cash flow.
Unfortunately, 82% of businesses fail because of cash flow mismanagement. And cash flow will be harder to track during a recession. So, create a profit plan where you can prepare for scenarios that might require you to cut costs.

Invest in your relationships.
With both your partners and your customers. Speak with your suppliers about setting up long-term contracts to save some money. Then, convince your customers that your business is worth what they pay, even during a recession. Try offering loyalty discounts or freemium packages.

👉 Check out the last tip.


How Bombas’ CEO scaled processes to rule the sock galaxy

Multiple Bombas socks arranged in rows.

Raise your hand if you’ve come across a Bombas sock ad on your social feeds. (Everyone’s hands up? That’s what we thought.)

Yeah — Bombas is owning the sock game. But it took a few years to get there. What started off as a cozy eight-person operation grew to 190 people in less than eight years. The question is… how?

Scaling processes, baby.

David Heath, Bombas CEO and Playbook 2021 speaker, is a great example of how leadership can help employees learn to love processes.

Bombas' processes are focused on giving their people autonomy and power. And the company has had low turnover. David attributes that retention to the fact that Bombas gives their employees enough space to make their own decisions so that they feel truly empowered.

At Playbook 2021, we had the chance to talk to David about his company's success with getting their employees involved with their processes. Here's his advice for rethinking your current processes and how to change them to scale your business:

  1. Processes should help — not hinder. If you want to implement a new process, David thinks it’s essential to think about why you feel you need it. He prioritizes knowing the “why”, AKA the reason, for a process before implementing it. The why is important because you want to avoid making a process for the process’ sake. That’ll just frustrate the people on your team. 
  2. Context over control. People generally don’t like being told what to do. Good leaders always give employees the vital info they need for their job or task without telling them exactly how they have to accomplish those responsibilities and goals.

👉 See David’s other piece of advice.

💡 And don’t miss our jaw-dropping roster of speakers at Playbook 2022! Register here.


What’ll lure Gen Zers to your company and make them stay?

They probably just want a raise.
Actually, no. Turns out what they really, really want is the ability to work from the office and remotely, wellness and mental health initiatives, meaningful work, career development, and a positive culture.

In other words, they care most about being treated as people. And they’d sacrifice a paycheck for the promise of flexibility, work-life integration, and a career path.

But that’s just one generation.
True. But the Gen Z population will make up nearly one-third of the workforce by 2030. And they’ll ultimately require this kind of work environment. After all, they know it’s out there, and they’ll bounce around until they find it.

Sounds easier said than done.
We can help with that. Here’s how to find and retain top Gen Z talent:

🔥Tip: Need a quick read that’ll help you do these things remotely? Learn how to seamlessly and cost-effectively build successful business processes from the original remote work pioneers themselves — Rob Rawson and Liam Martin — in their new book “Running Remote.” Bonus: Ronzio bros Chris and Jonathan share their framework for achieving hypergrowth through process documentation. Snag your copy today.


This week’s highlight reel

A corgi splooting on the floor.
  • It’s sploot season. Splooting — AKA animals spreading out on their tummies with their hind legs kicked out back — is everywhere. All the cool squirrels are doing it. It looks a little worrisome, but park agencies say not to worry about ‘em — they’re just cooling off. Oh, your dog sploots too? That means it’s time to stop being a tightwad and turn up your AC. We said what we said. 
  • Wha-wha-wha-what did you say? Psychologists are suggesting that colors influence 85% of customer purchase decisions. When used right, they could say “you’re hungry for our fresh, healthy smoothies.” When used wrong, they could say, “you’re feeling overwhelmed and sluggish,” or, “we’re immature.” So it’s uber-important that you use the right colors for your brand
  • It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s… a flying taxi? The long-anticipated flying car is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to United Airlines. They made a $1B deal with Archer Aviation to get their hands on 200 eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft after they’re developed. We might actually not need roads soon. Great Scott.
  • “Mo money, mo problems.” Said no small business owner ever. State-based grants and loans are available for businesses with unique challenges. See if you fit the bill before time runs out!

Organize the chaos
of your small business