May 24, 2023
5 min read

Webinar roundup: Recession-proof your business performance

Business struggling to recession-proof their businesses walking on the streets of New York
Quick summary

In the current economic climate, the pressure is on for businesses to stand out from the competition and make internal decisions to save money, save time, and support growth. In a recent webinar, How to sustain growth during a recession, we discussed how businesses can future-proof and scale by taking control of their business spend.

Table of Contents

    The state of our economy has not only brought about a wave of new opportunities and challenges, but it's also created a lot of uncertainty. In our recent webinar, How to sustain growth during a recession, we discussed how to recession-proof your business and sustain growth.

    Carolina Einarsson, Finance Director at Essentia Analytics, joined Guy Sear, Commercial Lead at Payhawk, and Konstantin Dzhengozov, CFO and Co-founder at Payhawk, to share their expert insights.

    How can businesses continue to strive for growth despite current economic challenges?

    To answer this question, Konstantin explained that we are now approaching the end of the economic expansion cycle. Everyone's chief concern is on the topic of a potential recession or a potential slow-down of the economy. He explains that many companies have built a lot of inefficiencies and accumulated a lot of fat down the road that was previously hidden within the exponential revenue growth and favourable macroeconomic conditions.

    Now is a better time than ever for organisations to analyse their structures and processes and make sure they don't carry any unnecessary bloat. By properly organising their business systems, companies can be better prepared for whatever is coming in the next few week and months.

    "I think finance folks, in general, have this role to be the trusted business partner of the organisation, and they need to take full control of this process," said Konstantin. "This means having the right tools and solutions to empower finance teams to create the quick analysis or models they need."

    “[You] need to have control of cash flow management to become agile enough to hit the gas quickly when needed and slow down company spend without sacrificing any profitability or unit economics — regardless of either scenario."

    "For example, at Payhawk, we are preparing two scenarios: a conservative scenario and a lump side scenario for the business. In both cases, we must have great visibility of our business spend. And we need to have control of our cash flow management to become agile enough to hit the gas quickly when needed and slow down company spend without sacrificing any profitability or unit economics — regardless of either scenario," he continued.

    By doing the above, you can help ensure you avoid ending up in a situation where you risk the stability of your business. Konstantin shared that this will be essential in building out your model and plan for next year. "And having a solution that can drive a lot of the insight for you based on your spend and based on your forecasted plan."

    Growth during recession webinar

    How do you shift the focus of finance away from data entry and towards business strategy?

    When asked about Essentia Analytics' ability to redirect the finance team's focus from administrative tasks to a more strategic role, Carolina explained that her first step upon joining was to evaluate the existing finance tech stack and identify the activities that consumed the most time.

    Carolina recommends to time-track the team maybe every week or month. In her experience, manual expense management is often the biggest time drain, especially data entry (which must be 100% accurate for the entire business operation to function properly).

    According to Carolina, historically, using many different apps (each for its own separate task) has been quite popular. However, after a thorough benchmark, her company switched to Payhawk.

    Carolina realised that using an all-in-one spend management solution, including corporate visa cards and expense management software, would be the future. And it has been an absolute game changer for their month-end processes. Switching to Payhawk has afforded them more time to work with other revenue-impacting teams, with their Financial Analyst moving to work as an SDR for 50% of her time.

    Carolina also mentioned the benefits of using credit cards for company spending so they don't have to tie up their cash. Here, Konstantin added that as cash is becoming something of a scarce resource, many companies operating in these uncertain environments should start using credit cards as a more efficient payment solution to help with their company expenses because of the many benefits that a company credit card offers.

    How can you improve data and spend visibility?

    Here, Carolina emphasised the value of knowing your ‘core space’ as a finance leader. Especially during turbulent times or when there’s a need to double down on cost efficiency.

    “You come through much stronger on the other side because you become so aware of your core cost space and strategic cost space,” said Carolina.

    She added that having a spend management system like Payhawk has definitely helped because of all the readily available data. And for a multi-entity company like Essentia Analytics, having a one-stop solution (instead of multiple exports from other platforms) has been a tremendous advantage.

    What should businesses who are looking for expense management solutions be aware of?

    Carolina responded to this question by describing the complexity of using different tools for different operations and how she concluded that an all-in-one spend management solution is the future.

    It’s truly about finding one software solution that can cater to your company’s needs, Carolina explained:

    "It makes all the difference when you find flexible software that lets you set up workflows according to your business needs."

    Key takeaways

    Spend control is just one tool in the box to help companies both ride out the difficult economic times - and succeed. By getting total spend visibility, investing in new technologies (like an intelligent expense management tool), and taking a smarter approach to cash flow management, businesses can position themselves for long-term success even in the face of adversity.

    Book a demo today to learn how our solution can help your company get complete spend control, save time, and support smart decision-making.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

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