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Life Lessons from Refael Edry on Proofing Your Small Business in a Recession

Running a small business isn’t easy. But keeping it afloat during a recession is a different ballgame altogether. Even as the global economy is recovering from the pandemic’s impact, the threat of recession has emerged.

Recent layoffs at Amazon and Meta highlight how these tech giants are trying to trim operations to prepare for an impending recession. According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, the UK and other Eurozone economies will tip into recession in 2023. The US might manage to escape unscathed due to its strong job market. 

Irrespective of location and niche, the recession will take a toll on your business. As economic activity declines and consumers curb spending, it’ll take a toll on your sales and revenue. Moreover, reduced cash flow will force you to cut marketing expenses and limit brand awareness.

But that doesn’t mean you must shut down the company you worked so hard to build. All you have to do is take proactive steps to minimize the recession’s impact on your operations. And if you’re looking for some inspiration to recession-proof your business, you can turn to Refael (aka Rafi) Edry, an acclaimed business leader from Israel.

Instead of focusing on his business acumen, we’ll explore a few insights from the life of Refael Edry to help your business survive the recession:

Embracing a Positive Outlook

Refael Edry had barely crossed his teenage years when he realized his father’s earnings weren’t enough to make ends meet. He decided to take up a job to help his family overcome financial hardships.

But that didn’t stop him from dreaming big. Instead of surrendering to his fate, he continued to pursue his dream of becoming a businessman. He sought courage and inspiration from the heroic stories of his uncle, whose name he shares.

Refael Edry z|l (the uncle) was a brave freedom fighter who sacrificed his life for his country at the young age of 24. His fearlessness and foresight motivated his nephew to fight every adversity.

As a business owner, it’s crucial that you stay optimistic about the future. Treat the recession like a dark storm that’ll pass and make way for sunkissed days. Instead of fearing the crisis, find ways to push forward and motivate your employees.

Connecting With Your People

Refael Edry can easily relate to the plight of children in Israel’s periphery. Coming from low-income families, they have to struggle for basic necessities, including textbooks and school supplies.

His empathy for these children led him to start the Ahinoam Association for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities. Through the organization, he’s launched various programs to help them rise above their circumstances and build better lives. Nurturing children and the youth is crucial for maintaining Israel’s position as an emerging superpower.

Similarly, your workforce is your greatest asset during any crisis. A recession is no different. When you nurture employees and give them space to grow, they’ll become invested in your company’s success.

They’ll go out of their way to ensure business continuity and even come up with innovative solutions to boost sales. Also, they’ll remain loyal to the company even when you can’t provide them with timely increments and bonuses.

But how do you connect with your employees? The key is to take inspiration from Refael Edry and be more empathetic.

Empathizing with your employees will help you identify and address their pain points and make them feel valued. That, in turn, will boost engagement and morale at the workplace, which is crucial during a recession.

Being Proactive

When Israel’s government instructed schools to start online classes in 2020, it seemed like a smart move to protect children from COVID-19. But thousands of children from low-income households in the country didn’t own computers and, therefore, couldn’t attend school.

Instead of waiting for government aid, philanthropist Refael Edry urged the public to donate. His fundraising initiative helped provide computers to more than 30,000 children, who otherwise would’ve had to quit schooling.

It’s worth noting how Refael Edry spotted the problem before it got out of hand and proactively implemented a solution. As a small business owner, you must start identifying potential problems your business could face during the recession.

From low sales and cash flow issues to employee turnover, you’ll face a host of challenges. But predicting these problems before they surface will give you enough time to take corrective actions. That, in turn, will help you minimize the loss of productivity and revenue.

In Conclusion

Pulling your business through the next recession will be challenging. But Refael Edry has proven that it’s possible to overcome every challenge with a positive and proactive attitude. Empathize with your employees and keep them motivated to turn them into your strongest allies. Lastly, remember your original purpose behind starting the business and keep working toward it.


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