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Recession Proof Your Own Business

How to Recession-Proof Your Business: 4 Ways to Prepare for an Economic Downturn

Lindokuhle Mkhize

Lindokuhle Mkhize

13 October 20234 min read

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recession proof your own business

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    How many small business owners in the USA struggle with the recession? Especially when faced with an economic downturn. The answer is Plenty. But don't worry, I'm here to help! This blog will explore four simple yet effective ways to recession-proof your own business now. 

    Whether you're in the food and beverage industry, e-commerce, providing digital services, or involved in manufacturing, these strategies will guide you toward a brighter and more resilient future.

    1. Diversify your business:

    In times of uncertainty, it's crucial to spread your eggs across multiple baskets.

    Expanding into different industries or offering diversified product lines can cushion your business against industry-specific downturns. For instance, if you're a small food and beverage business, consider expanding into e-commerce by offering online ordering or delivery services to new customers.

     This way, you'll tap into the growing digital services market and ensure a steady revenue stream, even during challenging times.

    2. Focus on customer retention:

    When money gets tight, your existing customers become your most valuable assets. Instead of solely focusing on new customer acquisition, invest in the following:

    • time and resources to retain your current customer base
    • loyalty programs
    • personalized service 
    • regular communication to show that you value their business

    By building strong relationships with your customers, you'll create a loyal following that will support your business through thick and thin.

    3. Embrace online marketing:

    In today's digital world, having a strong online presence is essential for any successful small business, too. Utilize online services such as:

    • social media platforms
    • email marketing
    • search engine optimization

    Use these channels to promote your business and reach a wider audience. Showcase your products, highlight customer testimonials, and share educational content to demonstrate your expertise. By investing in online marketing, you can expand your customer base even further and increase sales, even during an economic downturn.

    4. Collaborate and innovate:

    During tough times, staying connected with fellow entrepreneurs and industry peers is crucial. By fostering a supportive community, you can find new opportunities such as:

    • collaborating on joint ventures
    • sharing resources
    • exchanging ideas to overcome challenges together
    • developing innovative solutions 
    • staying ahead of the competition

    Embrace business development, attend industry events, and join relevant associations to stay informed about the business cycle and the latest trends and strategies.

    Is a recession looming?

    While no profession is immune to economic uncertainty and challenges, some positions are expected to do better than others in the event of a possible recession in 2023, according to a recent Payscale analysis.

    Payscale analyzed the hiring and quitting rates for dozens of occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and wage information for more than 1.1 million U.S. workers reported on its website between October 2021 and October 2022 to determine the ranking.

    According to Lexi Clarke, vice president of people at Payscale, these positions can be deemed "recession-proof" partly due to their double-digit income rise over the previous 12 months. Some jobs now pay up to 30% more than they did last year.

    And according to Clarke, due to the labor shortage and heightened competition, companies are spending more to fill these positions. That is, even if there is a recession in 2023, she anticipates that demand for these occupations will “continue to be high.”

    A waiter or waitress takes the top position on the list, with various necessary service vocations and office positions also making the list.

    According to Clarke, this results from restaurants' ongoing difficulty in replacing their employees. Salaries for servers have increased as a result of a labor shortage.

    Cash flow impacts more than just essential services

    According to the survey, it has been more difficult to recruit and retain employees for other occupations, such as dock workers and emergency dispatchers, which are also in high demand. However, even during a downturn, the services they offer are crucial.

    Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, cautions that even while these positions may be as close to a sure thing as you can expect in a turbulent market, you should exercise extreme caution in your search.

    He advises people to never leave or accept a job unless they're certain there will be a solid position waiting for them on the other side. "Job switching shouldn't be done right now," he said.

    Navigating your small business through a recession

    To navigate your business afloat through the rough waters of an economic downturn, implementing these recession-proofing strategies is crucial for small business owners.

    By diversifying your business, focusing on customer retention, embracing online marketing, and collaborating with others, you'll create a sturdy foundation for success. Remember, with a strong strategy, determination, and a little creativity, you can thrive even in the most challenging times.

    So, keep your head high, be proactive, and recession-proof your business to secure your cash flow and a brighter future.


    What should business owners do in a recession?

    Concentrate on cash access. Liquidity is the most crucial asset a corporation may have during a recession. Many customer-facing enterprises' revenue is projected to slow down due to lower consumer discretionary spending.

    Is any business recession-proof?

    Businesses that can weather a recession are often small businesses that exhibit at least one of the following traits:


    • Sells products that are necessary or required, such as food, diapers, or hardware supplies
    • Provides essential public services, such as shipping and toll-road maintenance.
    • Provides necessary repairs, such as plumbing and electrical work.

    Which businesses should you avoid in a recession?

    The following five industries should not be launched during a recession: high-end retail, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, and home services.

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    Lindokuhle Mkhize, a skilled creative copywriter and content lead at Trademarkia, brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and managing teams. With previous success in starting and growing the Innovation and Marketing department at her former creative agency, Lindokuhle boasts expertise in leadership and delivering compelling content. Based in South Africa, Lindokuhle's work focuses on key themes of creativity, effective communication, and strategic marketing.