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While a recession seems imminent, the “R” word does not need to be something that induces layoffs, cutting back and operating with a scarcity mindset. In fact, the opportunity for growth is more important for businesses than ever before.
As I work with clients who are fretting about the doom and gloom of financial volatility, I speak frankly. When a business retracts resources to accommodate a market in recession, they fail to see the opportunity in emerging needs and trends. In 2020 when panic struck the globe, I joined in the chaos at one point. My initial response was to go big and cut back. The loop in my brain went directly to scarcity, and I had to hustle harder to bring in extra cash. While this mindset induced frenetic action, I quickly became burned out.
What I realized is that there are always paying clients out there. I simply had to understand their needs. Clients’ and customers’ needs changed, and I adapted. The ability to ride the waves of economic downturn and build a stronger brand presence allowed me to emerge as a media and communications leader.
Let’s take this theory one step further. If you are contemplating cutbacks, layoffs and trimming the fat, how will this help your vision long-term? If you eliminate your marketing team, virtual assistant or sales, you are exposing yourself to an enemy that will diminish your business plan. The businesses that thrive have access to cash reserves and capital.
The fact is that recessions are normal occurring dips in every business cycle. Thus, if you are properly prepared, recessions can present opportunities for well-positioned companies.
Mindset is everything. First, look for opportunities. Second, understand your cash flow and access to monies from outside sources. Then take massive action.
- Look for pockets of needs that others are ignoring. When you do the same thing repeatedly, you are likely to receive the same response (i.e., the definition of insanity). If your business plan is not working, look at your strategy objectively. What is not working? How can you position your business in a new lane? Once you understand the goods and services you can provide in a fresh light, get in front of the people who need you the most. This is when your marketing and public relations insight is crucial.
- Launch a newsletter. If you do not have the consistent cadence of a newsletter, today is the day that you commit to creating quality content that offers free advice, tips, and relevant, actionable tips to draw a new audience in. Give away your advice for free in these newsletters. Many people may be opposed to giving free tips, tricks and advice away for free because they believe that their goods or services will not be needed. The opposite is true. Offering high-quality tips brings hungry consumers into your ecosystem. This elicits trust and curiosity, which eventually leads to clients.
- Invest in public relations. PR is the secret weapon for companies who desire growth, visibility, and a stage in which to gain brand recognition. If the budget does not allow for a PR team, schedule time to contact local media and journalists to get a conversation flowing. Your expertise may be a massive asset to a breaking news story. The more your name is mentioned in the media, the more you position yourself as a thought leader. The added benefit is that Google can easily find you; this tactic will eventually populate a Google Knowledge Panel. A Google Knowledge Panel is an information box on the right side of your screen when you search for entities like people, organizations and places. Essentially this is Google verifying you as an expert in your field.
- Co-Branding. If you send out press releases, consider collaborating with another business to gain more visibility. This widens your audience and builds important alliances with other businesses.
- Go Global. Never underestimate the power of opening up your business to a global audience. Understand the needs of different communities and countries and translate your message to accommodate. When you expand your reach, you expand your potential.
Related: How To Utilize PR During A Recession
The moral of this story is that when things get tough, you have two options. You can morph into something bigger and better. Or you can recoil and wait for the world to emerge from economic despair. This simple choice to create and elevate during a recession will offer you an edge against competitors. The choice is yours.