Right-Sized Teams at the Right Time
One of the things we looked at as we were going through the end of Covid and into this year was growth. We were fortunate to experience a lot of growth and opportunity during the pandemic, and we had increased the size of our team to meet that demand. As we got into 2023 it became clear that the slowdown was going to affect us all and we had to make some tough decisions to right-size our people costs. We know we’re not alone. We’re hearing the same story from a lot of our clients and prospects as well. So here are the elements we feel are most important to address as you manage your business and prepare to weather this slowdown in the economy.
Questions to ask yourself and your leadership
- What were the investments we made in our growth?
- What do we see that actual growth being?
- Are the size of your team and the growth projections aligned?
- If not, where can you make strategic cuts and still provide the level of service/ support/ delivery that your customers are accustomed to?
Businesses grappling with their growth and cost strategies need a thorough understanding of financials, coupled with the ability to critically assess assumptions. When it comes to making decisions about people, it’s always – well – personal. But with a clear eye and good data decisions about hiring or reducing the size of your staff can be made knowing that it is the right choice for your business going forward.
For businesses that are asset-heavy or equipment-heavy, or a combination thereof, the right-sizing discussion will be multi-layered. Really, as you look at ways to prepare for a slower economy the key is to understand your numbers and your trends and clearly define your goals based on that data. A strategic partnership with Signature Analytics provides that kind of guidance. We make sure our clients know their budget, forecast, cash flow projections and can right-size their companies based on those numbers.
Making Hard Decisions Easier
As a business owner, it’s not that hard to identify excess costs or call out underperforming team members. But having the data to support those assessments ensures that you’re making smart cuts, not just those that are most obvious.
For us, At Signature, we took a hard look at our people costs, real estate costs, technology costs, and other costs within our organization to determine which costs make sense, which are adding value to our company now, and which roles and activities we see adding value in the future.
Because we did a comprehensive cost assessment, in some cases, we didn’t cut costs, we increased them because we uncovered opportunities to take advantage of trends in the market that didn’t exist a year ago.
It’s not just about slashing roles and reducing people costs, there are nuances that go along with knowing your numbers. Understanding what your historical trends are, understanding the impact of expenses and investments and what they’ve made to your business is critical.
Accountability in Decision Making
At Signature Analytics, we know the value of having an accountability partner – someone who can challenge your assumptions. We act as a strategic partner for our clients to add a collaborative approach to decision-making. With an expert at your side, it’s easier to ensure the organization continually aligns with the changing market realities and doesn’t just rely on past successes.
Having an accountability partner or a person, either as a consultant or within your company who helps you challenge those assumptions is a vital role. The assumptions we made a year and a half ago, needed to be challenged. When we took the time ourselves to address our human capital costs and many other costs holistically, we decided some areas need to be cut, some teams, streamlined, some costs reduced and others increased.
Our CFO Business Advisory services help our clients have access to the kind of expertise you get from a full time CFO but at a fraction of the cost – and for a fraction of the time. Making smart and well thought out decisions that don’t have to be rolled back saves everyone time, money, and lost revenue.