Recession-proof businesses aren’t born - they’re made!
The one certainty in an uncertain world is that after a boom, there’s a bust. At Marketing Essentials, we work with businesses of every size to develop agile, strategic plans to weather any economic storm. The truth is that while you may not have control over the stock market or the latest natural disaster, you do have control over how you respond to these events.
As you hunker down for tough times ahead, here are some tips on how to recession-proof your business:1) First, take a deep breath. While fast, informed decision-making is key when the financial bottom falls out, knee-jerk emotional reactions can lead to ill-informed decisions that may tank your business. Ensure you are using data and strategic thinking to map out your course ahead.
Take a look at your business plan to tighten and adapt it to the changing economic landscape. Have an open, honest look at your three-year projections and financial expenditures. It’s also a great time to perform digital and content audits of your existing resources to see how they can be optimized and adapted for the current situation.
2) Diversify your income. We all hear about “diversifying income streams,” but what does that mean during a recession? It means finding new audiences for your products, refining your current offerings and being creative with how you present yourself and your brand in the market.
Examine your current product lines and look for gaps and opportunities. What job is your product filling for your customers? What other jobs do those same customers need filling right now? It’s also a good time to look into ways to monetize your thought leadership and expertise.
3) Invest in sales and marketing (really). When a recession looms, the first casualties at businesses of every size are often the marketing and sales teams. But it turns out this is the absolute worst time to dis-invest from these areas of your business. What happens when your customers stop hearing from you? They forget about you.
Step up your sales efforts and reach out to existing customers and potential buyers to form deeper, more meaningful relationships with them. Clients and customers will share positive experiences with others. Word of mouth will be more important than ever. Invest in strategic, low-cost outreach via personalized video, lead nurturing and content creation that provides value and demonstrates knowledge leadership in your area of expertise.
4) Have a financial fallback. In the midst of a crisis, everyone will be scrambling to take advantage of the same resources at the same time. Get out ahead of this by securing financing backing or having a financial plan before you actually need it. Do all signs point to a big downturn? Already in the early stages of one? Make your calls now.
Whether you are looking into a regular bank loan, an SBA-guaranteed loan, or heck, even crowdfunding, all of these efforts will take time. And time is of the essence right now.
5) Model exceptional leadership. As a business owner, your team looks to you for guidance and reassurance. So do your clients and customers. Whether facing a recession, national disaster or business downturn, the confidence and strategic leadership you demonstrate will be vital to the survival and long-term success of your company.
Be open, transparent, and speak honestly and kindly, and your employees and customers will respond and remember. How leaders respond in difficult times can define their business and their legacy for years to come.
Now is the best time to start your recession plan (if you haven’t already!). At Marketing Essentials, we help clients plan their long-term sales and marketing strategies using a unique agile methodology that is highly adaptable to rapidly changing markets. Be sure to check out some of our free resources!