Recession-Proof Your Small Business
Looking for a way to recession-proof your business? I have 3 recommendations.
- Fill your pipeline
- Demonstrate value
- Use lean times wisely
More importantly, I will explain precisely how you can accomplish these 3 steps without overtaxing yourself or your bank account. Ready? Let’s do this.
Ironically, people sometimes think a pending recession would be a good time to scale back on marketing expenses like pay-per-click ads or content.
Cutting back on marketing ahead of a recession would be like selling the car you need to get to work. Sure, it’ll save you some money in the short term, but it also wholly decimates your ability to make more money.
The slower the economy, the more work you (and everyone else) must put into landing buyers. That makes marketing more expensive during economic slowdowns because it takes more of your time to land a new account.
It stands to reason that you’ll need more potential buyers in your sales and marketing pipeline because fewer of them convert during the season of belt-tightening. If you’ve previously been able to get by on your referrals, now is the time to make sure you’re generating incoming leads beyond that.
The best way to suddenly increase the number of people interested in your services is to create a fantastic lead magnet. Think of the question you get asked the most, and create a digital tool people can use to answer this question.
- If you’re a stylist, this might be a quiz to determine your style personality.
- If you’re a pet trainer, maybe this is a PDF list of commands and how to teach them.
- If you’re an investment advisor, perhaps this is a retirement savings calculator.
Then, create a simple landing page that asks visitors to enter their email to access your lead magnet. Promote this landing page through pay-per-click advertising on social media or Google or through your own channels, such as social media and your website.
If your lead magnet really does speak to your audience, you’ll end up with a new list of people who are already interested in you and what you do. From there, you can either send them an automated series of emails encouraging them to become paying customers or reach out directly and make your pitch.
Note that you don’t have to sell to them immediately. In fact, giving them some time on your mailing list before making a sales pitch can give them a sense of who you are and forge a connection.
Recession-Proof Tip #2: Demonstrate Your Value
Your competitors are also reviewing their spending right now, looking for areas that seem superfluous. You should hope they decide to cut back on marketing because that makes your job attracting new clients easier and cheaper.
On the other hand, reducing your marketing efforts will make it easier for your competitors to attract clients. Not ideal.
A period of uncertainty is the time to be more deliberate about demonstrating your value. You want to make sure your buyers really understand what you do for them because they, too, are reviewing their purchase habits right now.
You can demonstrate your value by ensuring you’re getting reviews from satisfied customers and sharing those reviews widely. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers what you would like them to highlight in your review. (Hint: that you deliver results)
Now is also an excellent time to make your great reviews into detailed case studies you can post on your website or share on social media.
Recession-Proof Tip #3: Use Lean Times Wisely
My digital marketing lead, Vanessa, is from South America. Their winter is our summer and vice versa. She found it unusual that our business slowed somewhat during July and August until I explained that because summer is so short in Calgary, pretty much everyone wants to take some time off in that brief window. That gives us a predictable slow period, as it’s more difficult for our clients to make marketing decisions when key decision-makers are away.
I deliberately slow things down myself in the summer. I take time to work on the admin side of my business and create new assets. I also give my staff a break and take a break myself.
If your business experiences an economic slowdown or a seasonal slowdown, don’t let it pass you by with nothing to show. Plan a promotion. Invest in brand awareness. Build that lead magnet. Not only do you add to your business’s equity, but you keep your hands and mind occupied at a time that many business owners find pretty stressful.
The truth is, we don’t know exactly what the next few months and years will bring. Sometimes we can see the tough times coming, and sometimes the world shuts down on a random Thursday in March, and life as we know it changes for three years. All three of these suggestions will help insulate you from recession, but they are just good business practices year-in and year-out.