Recently, I was asked about the economic outlook for 2019 and 2020. My response was, “Who really knows?”
But the real question they were asking was: When will the next recession come?
Nobody can tell you exactly when the economy will move downward, but the next recession is not an “if” question it’s a “when” question. And while it’s easy to be happy and confident with SMBs at all-time highs, it’s also the perfect time to get prepared and not be caught off guard.
Here are three action items that you can do today to prepare for the next recession.
Secure your cash flow
In the last recession “cash was king.” Take the time to understand your cash resources and work to optimize them.
When it comes to banking, now is the time to execute or expand your line of credit. Banks are more open to making money available when the economy and your business is good. Revisit your loans and make sure you are utilizing the appropriate loan type for your given situation. Talk to your banker if you are not sure.
But, banking is just a start. Here are a few more suggestions:
Rebuild your sales and marketing
I had a business executive say to me, “Why should I build a new website? I’m sold out anyway!”
It’s not a question of should you do it, it is the idea that you can do it.
When business is good, make the investment to update your image. Now is a good time to try some new initiatives.
The internet offers a wide range of new ways to reach customers and prospects. Create an email marketing campaign, experiment with internet advertising, and explore search engine optimization (SEO).
Some programs will work and some will not. Take advantage of consultants and creative resources. They can provide capabilities that you don’t have on staff.
Thinking about hiring another salesperson? Stop. Use that money to deploy the internet to better engage your current sales team.
Take advantage of the positive momentum in your business to create testimonials and case studies. Produce videos that both you and your customers can integrate into internet marketing.
Create incentives for loyalty
In an economic downturn, it’s much cheaper to keep your current customers and employees than find new ones. With your extra cash due to your price increase (see above), you can fund some new programs. Here are a few ideas for loyalty programs.
Yes, the good times will not last forever. However, careful utilization of money, marketing, and loyalty today will pay dividends when things get more difficult.