A potential recession can be really scary. There are so many unknowns, any person can easily become overwhelmed. Add to that the threat to your physical health and the implications to your mental health, this is a lot to deal with. But deal with it we must. Otherwise, we could be overseeing a great opportunity. Or missing out on something huge. Or even making shortsighted, or uninformed decisions.
For me, sticking to a to-do list during times like this helps me to feel productive and keeps me moving forward.
Follow these seven steps and at least know that you are being proactive and productive no matter what the future holds.
Step 1: Gather all the relevant data.
The first thing you need to do is learn as much as you possibly can about what we’re dealing with. The best way to do this is to learn from those who have experience dealing with something similar. Find the experts, read their books and articles, and listen to their podcasts.
Remember, though, that this is speculation, and you should always consider multiple points on view. Nobody can predict the future. But, we sure can figure out the likely scenarios. The most important thing here is to stick to the facts and take advice from those who actually have an idea of what they are talking about.
Step 2: Come up with a plan.
Now that you have a better idea of what we are dealing with and the possible scenarios that could play out, determine what you are going to do about it. Will your strategy change? Will you put things on hold? Will you pursue something new or different? All of these are likely scenarios and are at least worth considering. It is also reasonable, and probably wise, to have a plan B and even plan C.
Step 3: Strengthen your foundation and get your reserves in order.
Whatever reserves you had for the sunny days may need to be doubled or tripled when you are preparing for a recession. You may need to consider additional vacancies or rental rate reductions. You may also be faced with the possibility that tenants cannot pay rent at all.
Building up your reserves will require discipline but it will be worth it. Furthermore, ensure that you are taking full advantage of the stimulus package. Do your research and know what assistance is available to you and how to take advantage of the different strategies.
Step 4: Cut all unnecessary expenses.
Go through your expenses with a fine tooth comb and cut out all the excess. If you’re paying for a subscription you’re no longer using, get rid of it. If you subscribe to a TV channel that isn’t bringing you joy, cancel it. There are many ways to go about this, but the first step is figuring out where your money is going. So schedule some time, print out your credit card statements, and get to cutting! A few steak dinners replaced with a home cooked spaghetti meal is an easy sacrifice, and your bank account will thank you for it.
Step 5: Revise your strategic plan.
All of the above will likely require that you reassess and possibly realign your strategic plan. If you haven’t already developed a strategic plan, check out this post for a quick and easy way to get on your way.
Please note that I am not advising you to let go of your goals! I am simply recommending that you reprioritize and potentially move things around. You may have to push some things off, but you can replace them with other things.
Step 6: Stay Positive
We’ve all heard the saying “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” and this is truly the best thing you can do during uncertain times. Realizing that there are things within your control and things outside of your control can be really helpful. Do what you can, and don’t stress about what you have no control over. Our economy cycles; it is normal and to be expected. You can’t change that, but you can decide how you will handle this downturn and what you learn from it.
Step 7: Take care of yourself.
Uncertain times can be very stressful, and can make you doubt the path you’re on. None of this is healthy or productive! Come up with a plan and stick to it. Create some routine and normalcy in your life, and cut yourself some slack!