The onslaught and massive outbreak of Coronavirus causing COVID-19 in the past few months has plummeted the world into chaos and turned it upside down. Economies have tanked and the DOW has seen the most highs and lows since the 1930s. Before the pandemic, economists from all around the world had been warning that another recession was eminent in late 2020. Along with those warnings, there have been many articles to suggest businesses should start preparing given the looming economic threat. While economists might feel somewhat vindicated, most were not prepared for a downturn of this scale.
We cannot control the economy in any way, but we can control our businesses. No matter what kind of business you have, planning for slow times is critical for long-term success. At MarketJoy we have made a comprehensive list of some essential ways with which you can recession-proof your business in 2020 and beyond.
BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH CUSTOMERS
Customers are the central part of any business activity. So do you know your customers well enough? You should have an intimate understanding of their shortcomings, the times of the year they tend to purchase, and what products or services they require the most. Take some of your clients to lunch for a touch-base and to understand them better to help you tailor your offerings for their exact needs. Anything you can do to get closer with your customers and better understand how you can support their needs will help make your business a must-have for them, whether economic times are good or bad.
BE AWARE OF YOUR COSTS
As a business owner, you may have a good understanding of your company’s financial performance. However, the best time to take a deep dive into your company’s numbers is while the economy is still strong and stable. Thoroughly study your P&L statement, marketing ROI, employees and merchandising costs, and overhead costs. Develop a deeper understanding of the factors that are prominent in driving revenue for your organization and those that are not. Be prepared to make a decision on which things you can cut back upon should the economy take a negative turn.
Chances are that you started your business because you were good at one or two things. However, when times are tough, businesses are usually tempted to begin offering more products and services, spreading themselves thin. Like the research that shows, you are more productive when you focus on one thing rather than multitasking, your business is far better off offering one product or service very well rather than trying to do many things with mediocrity.
In the modern business world, data is the new oil. Put your email lists to good use with a survey to solicit insights from current, past, and potential customers. Take advantage of feedback software that distributes post-purchase questionnaires to learn more about your consumers’ buying experience. Insights empower you to identify strengths and weaknesses while tightening up any loose ends and amplifying those things your clients say you are doing well. At MarketJoy, we offer industry-leading market research for your business development.
Cross promoting your business is a highly effective way to boost sales for you and other like-minded, complementary businesses. Working together to discover ways to support one another can help all organizations involved stay strong, even during a recession. This is one of the cheapest, if not free, ways to promote your business. At MarketJoy, we can promote your business through various channels across verticals.
PRIORITIZE THIRD-PARTY VALIDATION
Research shows that 91% of consumers read online reviews of businesses they are interested in, and about 84% trust those reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. It is also worth noting that positive online reviews also improve your website’s SEO and help it rank higher in Google searches, driving more people to your home page. Laying this groundwork now can make sure your organization is the go-to resource, even if a recession hits.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
Make sure your customer service is in the best shape. A 2018 report showed that poor customer service costs businesses more than $75 billion per year. You can create loyal brand fans through impeccable customer service. Moreover, social media is now a form of customer service, and as is evident, people are spending more and more time on social media with each passing month in the pandemic. So make sure you are using these platforms to connect with your audience and are regularly engaging with comments, questions, and feedback there.
When times are tough, marketing is often the first thing to business owners cut down upon, thought of as an extravagance rather than a necessity. However, this could not be any more further from the truth. Henry Ford is attributed with saying, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Marketing can be the difference between sink or swim for your business during an economic downturn. When consumers are on the hunt for new buying decisions, your marketing efforts ensure yours is the brand they come across, rather than your competitor’s.
Although we cannot be certain that, the pandemic will lead nations into recession, it is essential to prepare when you still have the time. At MarketJoy we are geared and hope to avoid any sort of dip in 2020. Additionally, we are ready to help you and any other organizations prepare.