No one likes recessions. For businesses, however, they can be disastrous. While there is no single way to survive (or possibly even thrive) in a recessed economy, there are steps that every business owner can take to brace themselves for the coming storm, and possibly even come out the other end in good shape.
In this article, we take a look at a few tips that will help you bootstrap your business for the looming recession.
When buttoning down the hatches, it’s almost reflexive to pause any business activity that doesn’t correlate directly with keeping the lights on. Certainly, there are situations for which this should be the case. Marketing is rarely one of them.
Your marketing budget may change during a recession. However, by staying active, you increase your odds of earning consistent revenue and possibly even exiting the recession with better prospects than you had when you entered it.
Modern marketing practices allow for a degree of thrift — particularly in the social media space. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are completely free, and ad campaign-based analytic tools are available at a modest cost. Some basic tools may even be made freely available to people with business accounts on certain social media platforms.
Using social media, particularly in cooperation with analytic software allows you to do more with less where marketing is concerned.
For example, using data, you can find out:
- Who your customers are (age, gender, etc)
- When they most often get online
- What sort of content do they tend to engage with
Using this information, it becomes very easy to make targeted ads that will be posted at times most likely to be seen by your key demographic. You may have the money for Superbowl ads and billboards, but with data and a good plan you can accomplish a lot with a little bit of marketing.
It’s also worth mentioning that social media makes it very easy to get specific with your ad campaigns. Because it takes no more than a minute to fire off a tweet, the process of revising your campaign is simple and fast. No need for reshoots or reprints, as with traditional media marketing. If one messaging strategy doesn’t work, move on to the next one.
Consider the Value of a Business Analyst
You want us to spend even more money? It may seem counterintuitive to start thinking about a new hire when the economy is on the brink of a recession. Depending on how hard you can expect to be hit by that recession it may indeed be the wrong move to make.
However, for businesses with the means, employing the services of a business analyst even on a freelance basis can be very beneficial.
Business analysts go in, look at what a company is doing, and make recommendations that align directly with what said company hopes to achieve.
You probably have an idea of how you want the recession to go. A business analyst will be able to work with you to make a game plan most conducive to those goals.
Narrow Your Focus
During a recession, it may be prudent to narrow your business’s focus. For example, if you offer five services, but only three of them generate significant revenue, you may be best advised to cut the other two altogether.
Why? Focusing on unprofitable products or services costs time, energy, and money. Three things you can’t afford to waste when there is a recession on the horizon.
Instead, see if you can make the things that are going well do even better. Best case scenario, you will increase the amount of revenue generated by profitable products and services. Worst case scenario, you’ll at least stop losing revenue from the duds.
Take a Fresh Look at Your Operating Cost
Operating costs include everything from utility to personnel and all the things in between. During a recession, when cash tends to be scarce, it’s advisable to cut those costs as much as possible. Naturally, virtually all business owners have a very strong aversion to layoffs — both in terms of how they impact the lives of their employees, and because of the ramifications, they have for the business itself.
Making decisions about utilities is much easier than reconsidering your staffing needs. IoT (Internet of Things) technology, makes it easy to remotely monitor and control things like heating, cooling, and other maintenance-related needs. Using Bluetooth and AI you can even automate utility adjustments so that services shut off on their own when they aren’t being used.
IoT technology can be relatively affordable, and over time it has the capacity to save your business significant sums of money.