- July 15, 2020
- Posted by: Sharon Lam
- Categories: Accounting, Business Continuity, Culture, Management Consulting, People, Planning, Strategy & Corporate Finance
Growing a business is difficult even when the economy is booming, let alone when the economy is mired in recession. When a recession occurs, such as the one that happened in 2008-2010 a decade ago, its small businesses that are hit the hardest. Around 1.8 million small businesses closed in those times, and estimates say that even a decade later, small business creation still hasn’t recovered to pre-recession times. It was a devastating time where the closures of so many businesses created more than 3 million unemployed individuals and caused a major rethink for major companies about sustainability and higher-purpose causes greater than simple profit.
It’s crunch-time now at the beginning of 2020. 2019 forecasts weren’t that promising, as global growth hit an all-time low of 2.3% last year, lowest since the 1.7% contraction in 2009. The UN is warning that 2020 might hit a recession with all the market and political turmoil that is happening right now.
Those matters are things you have little control over – but what you can do for your business is to create a strong recession-proof strategy so you’re prepared for anything that happens.
Here, we’ll detail two strategies that can help you gain the support of the masses for your business, keeping your business not only afloat, but grow.
1. Create an Icon
Icon? What do you mean?
Simple. Branding is a word bandied around a lot nowadays as an essential part of marketing your business to your current and potential consumers and customers, and that’s especially true when you’re talking about keeping your customers in recession. People are all saving money, or wish to spend their money wisely. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending your limited budget on a product that is ultimately a scam in quality.
That’s why gaining your customer’s trust is essential. Recessions are times where trust is scarce, which makes whatever trust you foster and let flourish all the more valuable.
Creating a personal, employer, or employee brand that keeps your message clear, easily accessible, and consistently trustworthy in times of crisis will do wonders for your business’s reputation and popularity in times of uncertainty. A strong network and brand that caters to the customer’s personal needs will only make your customers want to support you even when times are tough.
Times like recession are an opportunity to reinforce your company as an icon of trustworthiness and compassion in times of crisis.
2. Keeping up with Research
Data, data, data. Data is the most important aspect of any marketing campaign nowadays, and accountants increasingly use their skills to inform company strategy. Most of the time, statistics don’t lie, and careful upkeep and good analysis of these statistics can only help you react to unexpected dangers.
Times of recession are times of fluctuating prices, markets, consumer confidence, and quickly shifting policies and business decisions as everyone employes their own strategies to avoid economic repercussions. Don’t get caught in that. Knowledge is power, so inform yourself. Follow the data to its logical conclusion, and don’t shy away from any fortunate or unfortunate realities.
3. Customer feedback and awareness
Listen to the needs of the people – especially your customers. While customers are keeping their money close, going the extra mile to get their attention with things that you know they love can keep you customer-base ready to keep coming back for that occasional treat.
Being quick to address to anything that arises in your client-base is especially important. Not only for reputation’s sake, but also for strategy. By knowing what your clients wish to have, you can anticipate how to market them, and if you found a pain-point where something has become necessary, going for a quick-win would be an excellent idea.
Where long-term strategies are nigh impossible to carry out, being reactive and aiming for a collective series of quick-wins can keep your business floating while you find more sustainable ways to keep going. What can you give that all your competitors can’t? What are your customers complaining about your products or your competitor’s products?
Customer feedback is always a crucial part of deciding what direction to go, especially in times of recession, where people are more conservative than ever.
Want more advice on keeping your business recession-proof? Contact our team of experienced management consultants now! We’re more than happy to help.