Now that the US is officially in a recession as of February and other nations are or are close to it themselves, it's time to open up your recession playbook.
Recent events have hinted at what was going on and many stores have already started to shift their strategies.
Hopefully by now your playbook has a few options for you use.
You do have a recession playbook to follow right?
Even if you don't, there's still time for you. As this isn't a hard deadline that is looming you haven't lost yet, it's more of a change in the race your business is running.
I'd recommend collecting ideas now, even if you do have a playbook.
(The majority of my past articles are on my website if you want to dig through the past few months of my advice)
Whatever strategies you use, you should be focusing on a few things:
- Free or low-cost traffic acquisition.
- Avoidance of ideas that require physical presence or physical crowds (e.g. favor online events over demo nights, custom ecommerce domains over pop-up shops).
- Maintain your current customer base and their loyalty.
- Traffic and sales channels that you have experience with and have proven to work in the past.
You should be testing out new channels and ideas but 80% of your time, money, and resources should go towards strategies proven to work for you. Spending your savings to start learning TV advertising is not advisable.
One critical thing to watch out for is pulling back from investing in improvements.
Cash on hand is important but you can't stop investing without hurting yourself in the future. Too many good businesses were lost in 2008 because of this reason. The recession didn't kill them, the recovery did as competitors who kept improving were able to pull far ahead.
So if you need an app, if you need to hire help, or if you need new equipment... buy it. Just make sure it's a good use of your resources, don't buy it just because.
(Normally I'd end here by talking about how my Shopify apps can help. They still can and could even be more valuable now than ever, but it's important for you to think about your playbook over the next few months. If you think my apps would help you with those strategies, there are links in the footer to find them. If my apps help in different ways than your recession strategies, come back to the apps when the recession has recovered. They'll still be here)
The next few months are going to be hard and many things will change, but you can survive.