A recession refers to a period of economic downturn. It is typically defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth when adjusted for a country’s real GDP. As Kavan Choksi Business Consultant mentions, recessions generally last for just a couple of months. However, at times, it may take years to turn around. A recession can significantly impact businesses across various industries. It can affect their operations, finances, and overall stability.
Kavan Choksi Business Consultant lists the ways recession may impact a business
Businesses large and small face can experience declines in sales and profits during a recession. Recessions can spur business bankruptcies, curb credit access, and more. Even though recessions usually do not last for more than a few financial quarters, its knock-on effects can go on for far longer.
Here are a few ways recession may impact a business:
- Lower profits: As economic growth stalls, both competitors and consumers are likely to become wary of spending more money. Hence, a business may find it more difficult to generate its usual sales, and have to take steps to adjust expenses accordingly. During a recession, businesses would be are less likely to invest in new products, employees might be made redundant, as well as overheads may get slashed to account for a reduction in profit.
- Credit crunch: Consumers and businesses are not the only ones to become more cautious with their spending during a recession. Even lenders tighten their belts, which makes it more difficult for businesses to access the usual lines of credit. Lending requirements may become more strict during a recession, and interest rates on loans can go up.
- Reduction in cash flow: During recessions, customers and vendors alike can find it difficult to make timely payments. Hence, businesses may have to spend more time chasing invoices, and even end up delaying their own payments to suppliers. This situation can become very complex for various companies, especially the ones that operate as per a B2B model.
- Declining stock prices and dividends: Reduction in profit and cash flow would eventually make its way to the official financial statements of a business, including its quarterly earnings report. Dividends might disappear or decline at this point. Certain shareholders can even call for new leadership as stock prices drop significantly.
- Decline in product quality: One of the most common knock-on effects of a recession is the drop in product quality. When manufacturing slows down and bills go unpaid, companies often try to explore new ways to cut costs and improve the bottom line. This can lead to a temporary reduction in service or product quality as businesses are unable to adhere to their usual standards.
As per Kavan Choksi Business Consultant, while there are many ways a recession can negatively impact a business, there are also a few silver linings to look at. For instance, recessions may provide businesses with the opportunity to reinvent themselves by exploring innovative ways to cut costs. One may even decide to try a new, successful business model with lower associated costs to protect their interests.