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How to Maintain Your Business During a Recession

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses across the country. Many were forced to shut down during the early part of the outbreak, and those that survived now face a recession sparked by the virus.

How can small businesses survive through this difficult time? Adjusting the way you do business and reaching out to trusted sources for help can carry you through. We’ve compiled six ways to maintain your business during tough times.

1. Focus on Your Core Competencies

During good times, businesses often expand into new things. A chicken restaurant may experiment with beef sandwiches, for instance, to see if it can attract new customers.

In a recession, however, it’s ideal to return your focus to the core thing you do and do well. Your business has already proven it can thrive with that one thing. Forget about extras, which cost money to sustain, and instead push your resources toward your primary focus. Diversification can wait until after the recession.

2. Continue to Market

The marketing budget is often the first thing to go when a business faces tough economic times. Too many people believe that promoting their business is extra. Actually, marketing becomes even more critical during a recession. It lets people know where you are and why they should use you. Marketing also gives people confidence in your competency. It proves you are doing well enough to spend money.

Explore less-expensive marketing programs, such as posting on social media and digital advertising options. Experiment with new marketing ideas that don’t cost a lot, and see what’s most effective.

3. Focus on Your Current Customers

Bringing new customers through the door takes more effort than keeping the current customer base engaged and active, so concentrate on repeat business. You can send email blasts and offer exclusive sales to generate excitement.

4. Find Ways to Cut Costs

Every business has a little fat in the budget. Look for ways to trim it by going over all your expenses. It could be something as simple as identifying merchandise that sells slowly and not ordering it again.

5. Improve Customer Service

Your loyal customers are your biggest asset during a recession, and you want to keep them happy and engaged. When they come to your business, treat them kindly and cater to their needs.

Maintaining that high level of customer service is also an argument for keeping all your employees instead of letting some go during the recession. Employees make a difference in customers’ comfort levels during uncertain times, and having your entire team on hand will make your customers feel more confident.

6. Use CAEDC Programs for Assistance

The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) offers programs to assist businesses during a recession, including grant programs. If you have struggled to keep your business afloat amidst the pandemic, let us help you. Check out the resources available to you, including grant and financing programs specifically offered for COVID-19 relief.

Recessions come and go, but maintaining good business practices and turning a critical eye on your budget can help keep you afloat in lean times. Get in touch with CAEDC for more information.

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