What should a business do during a recession?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, as all businesses–from entrepreneurs and startups to mid-size businesses and beyond–will all face different sets of circumstances when a recession comes. An economic recession is most often thought of as two straight quarters with negative growth, and they happen periodically and without fail. There will always be periods of growth and recession–that’s just how it works. However, there are a few tried-and-true strategies that successful businesses have used throughout the years to “weather the storm,” so to speak, during times of economic stress.

While the Mandel Marketing blog is primarily a resource for branding, copywriting, and advertising advice, we do often find ourselves in the position of business consultant to many of our clients–and that means helping out with overall company strategy, beyond paid search campaigns and search engine optimization. And in this article, we’ll look to some of the most trustworthy resources around the web for guidance.

Prepare for economic recession in advance.

According to Harvard Business Review, one of the best ways of surviving a recession is to be prepared, and do the prep well ahead of time. How? Well, mainly in four ways:

  • Deleveraging (that is, reducing the overall level of corporate debt, so you don’t need to spend company cash on interest)
  • Sharp decision-making in tough times
  • Looking for ways to cut labor costs beyond merely laying people off
  • Focusing on technology.

Well, that’s great, but what if it’s too late, and the recession is already upon us?

Take advantage of the relative quiet in the marketplace.

Seeing as we’re in the marketing business, we’re especially fond of this bit of advice, from Entrepreneur. Among other things that are always prudent, such as “enhancing the customer experience,” this article suggests actually investing more into advertising and marketing during an economic downturn. The reason is that when other companies pull back their ads, yours can break through clutter even more effectively.

As you may already know, mass communication is pervasive and cluttered–people receive thousands of messages per day in media, and your company’s ads are probably getting lost sometimes. But this bit of risky advice may reap tremendous rewards for your company–not despite the recession, but because of it.

Be open and transparent with your team.

There’s no use being coy with your employees, stakeholders, and clients about what’s going on; if anything, it’ll cause resentment or piss them off. So be open and transparent with them, and explain what’s happening. This article from Zapier is chock full of sage advice from business leaders who’ve already all survived a downturn, and being transparent is one of the most important.

Work with partners you can trust.

No matter what, an economic downturn is a scary time for any business leader–whether you own the company, run the marketing department, or are in charge of personnel. Your clients and customers are wary, your staff may be jittery, and business will ebb and flow. That’s why it’s more important than ever to work with partners you know and trust, that are looking out for your best interests. Like Mandel Marketing.