When times get tough the strategy is often to close up shop and ride out the storm with whatever rations you have saved up during the good times. Sometimes this is a wise move for some companies who have no other choice. However, sometimes it is a knee-jerk reaction after management looks at the books and notices revenue plumetting while expenses stay the same or increase. So what is the next move? Cut all advertising and marketing costs or course!! No, this is usually the last thing you want to do if you can help it.
Obviously, there are different tactics to surviving a recession for different companies/industries. However, if it is at all possible, a recession is one of the best times to grow your business, increase brand awareness, and gain market share. Chances are that regardless of the economy, there are people out there that need your goods and services. You may have to get creative as to how you find these clients, what you charge them, how you retain them, and how you support the costs of growth, but there are ways to do it.
The Internet marketing space has a few distinct advantages in that almost everyone needs this type of service (if they know what’s good for them) and it can be wildly more cost effective than traditional forms of media and marketing. Pay Per Click advertising and search engine optimization are both great investments to make if you can properly judge the ROI and manage the expenses.
You may say, “Well yes, but easier said than done.”
Of course, as business owners and managers, we all need to keep a close eye on expenses and create a solid balance between revenue growth and the cost of goods sold. It is likely however that many of your competitors are taking the “close up shop and ride out the storm” approach in which they will cut virtually all marketing expenses, stop doing PPC, and not invest long term in search engine optimization.
If you have the means I suggest:
- reallocating funds to online marketing strategies
- redeveloping your website – now is the perfect time with the holidays upon us (unless you are en e-commerce site and the holidays are your biggest months)
- invest in SEO
If you do not have the means:
- take out a business line of credit
- raise equity capital (though that can be difficult in an economy like this)
- Boot strap anyway you can to invest in growth
- Hire good interns (for free with good incentives to earn a place with the company)
- Hire good sales and business development people (if you can afford them and see potential for them to quickly pay for themselves)
Invest in your future now so that when times are better you come out on top with a distinct advantage over the competition.