It’s no secret that recessions can be tough on businesses of all sizes. However, by taking a proactive approach, you can recession-proof your business and continue to thrive even in challenging economic times. These eight key strategies will not only help you increase sales during a recession, but they will also help you recession-proof your business for the long term.

Invest in Marketing and Advertising
Don’t skimp on your marketing budget during a recession. Loyal customers are your primary source of cash flow and organic growth. And, when the economy is stable, it costs five times more to convert a new customer than to retain an existing one. Companies that double-down on their marketing efforts during a recession keep their brands in the minds of consumers.

Enhance Your Online Presence
Consumers spend eight hours a day online, so you need to invest in a business strategy that makes your company visible on digital platforms and channels. Email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising give businesses unlimited access and opportunities to connect with current and new customers online.

Build More Than Sales: Brand Reputation and Recognition
Having a great product or service is only part of what it takes to reach business success. You still have to do the hard work of building your brand which inspires consumer confidence and keeps existing customers coming back for more. Maintaining consistency beyond your marketing strategy, communicating with and training your team, and emphasizing the importance of brand consistency will help you maintain revenue and ultimately, their jobs.

Keep Company Consistency
Consumers have high expectations. Before you delve into paid advertising or social media marketing, you should have a robust, SEO-friendly website that clearly communicates your value and differentiates your business from competitors.

Cut the Bottom 20% of Your Worst-Performing Customer Base
Cutting the bottom 20% of your existing customer base frees up resources and the capabilities of your existing labour force, so you do not need to add new employees to your payroll. Instead, you can focus your marketing efforts on attracting new customers and increasing the average purchase value of each customer.

Improve Operating Processes and Deliver Better Services and Customer Experience
This is precisely the time to look at your operations from a quality control standpoint, brainstorm with your employees, and determine what you can do better for your existing customers. You need to be head and shoulder above the rest. If you are offering mediocre service, most customers will go elsewhere.

Offer Discounts and Promotions
When times are tough, people look for deals. Offer discounts and promotions to entice customers to purchase from you instead of your competitors. This can include BOGO (Buy One Get One), percent-off discounts, loyalty rewards programs, or free shipping offers. Just make sure that your promotions don’t devalue your product or service, and always consider the impact on your profit margin.

Diversify Your Revenue Streams
Explore different revenue streams to offset any downturn in your primary revenue stream. Consider expanding into new markets, developing new products or services, or even partnering with other businesses.

Implementing these strategies can reduce adverse financial effects when the recession hits. As someone who has been in business for 23 years, I have seen recessions come and go, and I have noticed all of these tips and used them myself to grow and succeed in business. They can help you successfully navigate acquiring new customers, restructure your marketing budget, and build customer loyalty. Don’t let the recession hold you back. Take control of your business and drive success with these key strategies.

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About the Author

Tina getting a closer look with a magnifying glass

Tina Kempling, the Lean Green Team Leader at Imagine That with over 35 years of experience in the print industry, newspaper and magazine advertising.

As an industry-certified designer since 1991, Tina knows her stuff when it comes to marketing vision. But what sets her apart is her understanding of advertising and marketing in today’s digital and print market. She can help companies tap into the incredible marketing power in new and creative ways. Ready to take your marketing game to the next level? Give Tina a shout!