Breaking headlines about recession, inflation, and hiring woes can make even the most experienced entrepreneurs nervous about the future of their business. Change is a guaranteed part of any business, and the most successful companies are the ones who are able to adapt, shift their mindset and be creative during tough times.
There are a couple of digital solutions we've discovered along our business journey that we believe can help you survive and potentially even thrive during an economic downturn.
Digital Solution: Get ranking and beat your competition
Beating the competition is an important task on the to-do list for most businesses, but it takes on a new light as part of recession-proofing. Recessions have a way of weeding out smaller or weaker businesses as they jostle for their share of a shrinking market. For these reasons, it's important to rank as a leader in your industry, whether that's an e-commerce store or perhaps a service-based business model.
You can start recession proofing right away by collecting key marketing intel on your customer before a major recession hits. The goal? To gain an understanding of your product or service's strengths and weaknesses compared to your competitors', from your target customer's perspective.
One of the other ways to beat your competition is to get your website ranking high up on Google search. Simply put, it means more eyes on your business - leading to more sales, leads and enquiries. You'll want to hire someone who is proficient in SEO and Google ranking - your ROI will pay off tenfold.
Digital Solution: Optimise your website
Secondly, you'll want to make sure every aspect of your website is working as well as it possibly can be. Does your website appear trustworthy? Are your website visuals up to date and capture the essence of your brand identity? Is your site loading fast enough?
Speaking of ranking high on Google search results, getting more eyes on your site won't do you any good if your website isn't optimised and in fact looks like it hasn't been updated since the last recession. Yikes!
Let's dig a little deeper. For example, find out if your current website is optimised for mobile users. Globally, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices.
That's a huge chunk of potential customers that you might be missing out on if your site is difficult to read or navigate on a smaller screen.
It's never been more crucial to get your entire site optimised and enhanced so that your target audience finds your website and more importantly, likes it.
Digital Solution: Cut costs by automation
During difficult economic times, you'll want to avoid adding more operational costs if they don't contribute to revenue generation. Here's where one of our favourite digital solution tips comes in. Automation can help you scale without needing to hire. When it comes to the internal processes of your business, you have a couple of options:
- Manually do the process yourselves, taking up your precious time and resources.
- Develop standard operating procedures so that doing the process manually is streamlined. This is the second-best option to minimize time on non-revenue-generating activities.
- Automate the process with technology. We personally do this as much as possible to avoid having our team spend time on non-revenue-generating activities.
Want to know more? Have a look at some of our favourite automation tools here and here.
Digital Solution: Establish flexible client agreements
One way to help build a loyal customer base is through negotiated flexibility, to ensure that both business and client are able to successfully operate in difficult times. Offer rewards in return for contracted sales volume, or customize offerings in exchange for faster payment terms. In addition to enhancing variables that help stabilise your revenue streams, being flexible can create goodwill and repeat customers
One way that we offer flexibility is through our partner Procuret. We hope to make it easier and simpler for you to get the work you need done on schedule with the flexibility of paying your investment in instalment slots that suit you best.
Procuret is a fast, flexible and secure digital payment plan solution built for professional businesses to better manage their cash-flow. This helps you purchase the products you need for your business up front and pay for them in manageable and easy instalments.
Digital Solution: Grow your employee's skillsets
Sometimes googling just isn’t enough. Maybe your employees in-house need more specialised training or you need a sounding board to help all your ideas come together.
You'll need to rely on your team to help your business stay flexible, pivot, and think creatively during any kind of difficult times, so it's important that employees are in prime shape to meet these challenges. Building up skills and cross-training staff can help achieve that end. As a practical matter, investing in employees can help them feel more connected to the business and more willing to go the extra mile when they are called on to do so.
As well as this, it's a huge cost-saving initiative! One of the biggest ways to save money is to up-skill your current employees in the technical abilities that they need to do their job effectively and help your business scale, instead of taking on the cost of trying to hire new skilled employees or outsource to companies with high margins.
Digital Solution: Establish strong partnerships in your business community
We strongly believe it's important to build up a healthy community support system for your business - whether the economy is strong or not! We all know word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing and having likeminded individuals around you opens up doors for mentorship, opportunities and help in difficult times. It also gives you the possibility of giving back to your community, something we love at Simplypress.
How can you do this? Here's a few ideas:
- Join networking events and talk to like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. Build a network of cool people doing awesome things in similar fields.
- Look out for strategic partnerships with companies that enhance your own business practices and offerings. We're proud to work with a number of amazing companies that offer clients unique services and products.
- Again, our favourite digital solution - automate your daily processes with technology. We personally do this as much as possible to avoid having our team spend time on non-revenue-generating activities and more time on connection, creativity and building relationships.
To sum it up - there are things you can do right away to digitally proof against economic downturns or recessions. We've found that flexibility, value and durability tend to be key attributes customers seek out during hard times.
We're here to help you! Our biggest goal at Simplypress is to help other businesses succeed, and it's never been more true than now. We offer a free (you read that right - free!) 30 minute consultation to offer support and find digital solution options for any pain points you might be experiencing.