Having a business that can survive an economic downturn doesn’t mean that you have to invest a ton of money and that everything has to go well for your business all of the time. Businesses have suffered more than ever during the pandemic and, due to the naturally cyclical nature of economics, there is always another economic downturn at some point.
It is all about being prepared, adaptable and most importantly, aware when you need to make a change.
Hack 1: Watch the Market To Be Cued In to A Potential Economic Downturn
Be vigilant and observe when the downturn might happen. Get ready and have the change in hand to ensure that your business does not fall victim to the chaos. Read up on articles like this one, and develop a plan written up for such an event.
Consider how your business might be negatively impacted in particular. Try to be detailed as well as maintaining a good broad understanding of the common pitfalls you may face in your business, your industry, and even your geographic area.
Hack 2: Keep the Core of Your Business Strong
Take note of the core elements and systems of your business that you could not survive without. Make sure you hold those safe.
For example, a delivery service might be able to cut down on a few vans during a major downturn but they still need to keep up with demand, so they can’t cut back too much. They need to plan to retain a predetermined number of their staff and transport vehicles in order to make deliveries.
Online businesses are the same. If you have a lot of people who use and love your website, downgrading is not an option during difficult times. It could put pressure on your brand identity and, potentially, turn off a lot of customers.
Hack 3: Don’t Stop Marketing During an Economic Downturn!
Marketing is vital to a small business’s success. In economic struggles, it can be tempting to pull back your marketing efforts, or even to stop altogether. However, this is when it is more important than ever to show you’re still available for trade.
If you have to close due to government regulations, alter your marketing (and perhaps even operations) to adapt. YOU can focus it on something relatable and informative for the audience so that you gain more customers in the future, when you can go forward with a larger, more targeted marketing campaign.
Work on your brand and branding assets like business cards and alter them to fit the situation if you deem it necessary. Create a fantastic logo for your business that speaks to customers. You can create using any one of the high-quality (and often free) logo makers available online.
If you want professional help, you can always reach out to us. We are always available and passionate about helping small businesses succeed, especially during an economic downturn, or any other difficult situation that may arise.
Hack 4: Keep Cash Flowing
As much as possible, keep the money coming into your business and don’t let it sink in debt when you can avoid it. Brainstorm ideas about how you can bring in additional capital, if necessary. Think about how you can expand your product or service offerings. Is there an opportunity to serve your customers in a new way? Has the economic downturn provided you with an opportunity to reach new customers?
With every limitation there is opportunity. Though it may be difficult to see, counseling with your employees, business partners, board of directors/advisors, can often produce new, innovative, and exciting ideas. Focus on bringing value to your customers, and they will return that value.
Hack 5: Double-Down on Creating an Amazing Customer Experience
It can be difficult to remain optimistic during difficult times – especially an economic downturn that threatens, not only your business, but perhaps your livelihood as well. And it’s difficult not to allow that stress to enter into your interactions with your customers.
However, you must put special effort into keeping your customers happy and having a positive experience when using your services. Always remember that they are most likely struggling right along with you. Get on the customer’s level. You’re in this together, after all.
Find out what they need from your business and give it to them. You might find that you start to thrive by doing this, and your business might take a huge upturn. Think about the exponential growth of PPE sales during the lock-down from businesses far and wide and the supply of customers needing them.
Hack 6: During an Economic Downturn, Cover Your Assets
Cut back where you have to but ensure that you have a safety net. Don’t wait until you are pushed to your limits to build up a healthy savings of cash, to invest in revenue-generating assets, or to apply for grants. They are there to help small businesses survive, use them.
As long as you have a plan in place and a safety net for such occasions there is no reason that your business has to go under when you face an economic downturn. Adapt and plan and your business might take a big hit but will come back up stronger.
About the Author
This post was guest-authored by the talented Debra Ramos.