2020 has been a punch in the gut for many emerging businesses. You’ve probably had to pivot your business model, reinvent your unique selling proposition, and perhaps go through the painful process of laying off key personnel. However, you are determined to keep growing your business and that’s why you’re here. But how do you forge ahead when the business landscape is so unpredictable and resources are low? It’s true, in a slow economy your normal growth strategies don’t work. But it’s crucial for you to remember that there are always opportunities for growth and improvement, even in a recession. You just need to think creatively.
From building up your inbound marketing strategies to getting to know your audience better, here are some smart ways that you can grow your business with a slow economy.
Keep Learning and Think Outside the Box
No matter your industry, there are tons of free opportunities for professional development online. There’s no excuse to stop you from continuing to learn new skills related to digital marketing. Take this time to brush up on your writing skills or learn how to use new software. Enroll in a free coding class and learn how user experience designers use code to create beautiful websites. Encourage your team to keep learning, too. Run a certification challenge to get people excited about learning. You might gain new insights that could be applied to your business. At the very least, you’ll gain some new skills that make you a stronger leader.
When things are slow, try to see it as an invitation to think outside the box. Look at industries that are very different from yours and see how they are adapting to the pandemic. What lessons could you take from them to apply to your business? Go for walks outside and allow your mind to wander. Pick up a fiction novel that you wouldn’t normally read. Allow yourself to consider new perspectives and new ways to do business.
If you have a team that is struggling to adapt, challenge them to come up with new revenue ideas. There’s no reason you can’t start new programs during a slow economy, as long as they have minimal overhead. See how many different ideas your team can come up with over the course of a week. Make sure you ask if anyone has hidden skill sets. You might be surprised to learn that your software developer is also a 3D modeler, and they might be willing to fabricate branded merchandise for you.
Build Relationships with Other Industry Members
It’s easy to feel like you’re stuck in a dog-eat-dog world, especially in a slow economy where competition is high. But don’t allow this mentality to stop you from building relationships with other industry members. After all, what’s good for the industry is good for you and your company.
Keep attending virtual trade shows and online conferences. Stay in touch with your colleagues from other companies and share your experiences. You don’t need to give away your secret competitive advantage, but you might benefit from building a professional network that offers mutual support during challenging times. You might even learn something about how to run virtual events, as 38% of marketers report that they face technical problems when running virtual events.
If it aligns with your business, consider co-marketing to broaden your appeal. One option is to try generating more leads by partnering up with another company to offer joint services. For instance, if you’re a SaaS business then you could partner with a food delivery company to offer discounts on dinner while they learn how to use your software. As an alternative, simply exchange mailing lists and see if a new audience is more receptive to your pitches.
Get to Know Your Audience Better
This is a time of high emotions. Your audience is being very precious about where they spend their time and energy. As a result, you need to see this time as an opportunity to build trust and not take advantage of them. Seize the moment and get to know your audience better. Build empathy with relatable content. Be honest about your own struggles and talk about your hopes for the future.
Most importantly, make sure your audience knows that you care. When they share anything with you, make sure you listen. Rather than making it difficult for them to cancel service in an effort to keep the cash flowing, make it easy for them to cancel. According to Fundera, 43% of customers spend more on brands that they feel loyal to. Let them know that you value their well-being and will be here when they’re ready. Your audience will remember how you treated them during this emergency.
Audit for Extraneous Expenses and Programs
Finally, it’s time to get tough. In a slow economy, you’ve got plenty of time to conduct a thorough audit. So, review every line on your budget. Is that CRM not delivering results to justify the monthly cost? Maybe it’s time to switch to HubSpot to see if integrating your CRM with your website will return better leads.
Send out surveys to find subscriptions that no one uses. Your team might be eager to dump a slow and finicky software and replace it with something better. This is a great way to keep your team busy when business is slow, too.
When things are slow, this is a great time to switch over to new systems. You won’t have to shut anything down and interrupt business. You can take your time to carefully evaluate your options and migrate data to the new system.
Your website is a great place to invest some time in this slow economy. Contact HubTheme to start the process of transforming your average website into a conversion machine with HubSpot integration, streamlined inbound marketing, and empathy-centered design.