5 steps you can take today to prepare your business for a recession - and come out stronger than the rest

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5 steps you can take today to prepare your business for a recession - and come out stronger than the rest

Kelly Roach, Unstoppable Entrepreneur CEO

Kelly Roach

Kelly Roach.

  • Kelly Roach is the founder and CEO of the Unstoppable Entrepreneur, an online business coaching program.
  • Roach says that not only can you survive the recession onset by the novel coronavirus pandemic, you can use it to strengthen your company - if you prepare for it the right way.
  • Make a plan, adapt your brand, prepare your finances for upcoming hits, consider new essential hires, and sell as much of your services ahead of time as possible.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Nothing in life is ever a straight line: Small business owners know this better than anyone. And while there have been talks of a recession for over a year, it seems the coronavirus pandemic is delivering the next economic downturn right to our doorstep a little sooner than expected.

With a downswing upon us, how can small business owners not only survive, but leverage the coming recession?

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Here are five things to start doing now in order to win during an economic downturn:

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1. Commit to making moves that will boost your business now

1. Commit to making moves that will boost your business now

This is not the time to get emotional. Fear can have no place in your recession preparations.

Instead, you've got to decide, are you going to play offense and make moves during the recession, or are you going to play defense and just do your best to survive? Or, will you pack up your things and call it quits?

When fear sets in, many small business owners will want to pick up their ball and head to the sidelines. However, if you want to win during the recession, you've got to decide now that you are going to stay in the game and make some serious plays.

2. Reposition your brand

2. Reposition your brand

Before times get desperate, think through how you can reposition your brand now to survive what's ahead. While this will look different for every business, here are a few things to consider:

  • How can you pivot your offerings and products and turn them into a need instead of a want?
  • How can you shift audiences so that you are selling to those who will be insulated from the effects of a recession?
  • How can you create a low-cost service or product option that will enable you to continue making sales even when people aren't able to spend the way they used to spend?
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3. Get your finances in order

3. Get your finances in order

When the recession hits full force, you are going to want to be able to move quickly.

Make sure you know your numbers. Build up your emergency reserves as much as possible. Start setting aside money to invest when businesses shut down and sell their inventory, or when buildings become available for a fraction of the normal cost. Advertising costs will plummet once the recession is in full effect, which means you will be able to take advantage of a lower cost per lead than ever before.

In order to be able to capitalize on all of those things, you've got to have a real-time pulse on your numbers. So, call up your CFO and put together a plan.

4. Think about who you need on staff

4. Think about who you need on staff

Unfortunately, during a recession, there will be a lot of layoffs. Highly qualified people will be out of work, looking for a job. So, decide who your next hires will be now so you are ready to make an offer when you find the right person.

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5. Sell as much as you can

5. Sell as much as you can

In order to pad your accounts for future investments, you are going to need to sell, sell, sell while the selling is easy. If your old offers don't work anymore, pivot and sell some more. Do not push the breaks. Now is the time to go full-steam ahead and sell like you mean it.

For many, just the talk of an economic downturn is enough to send them running to the locker room, ready to throw in the towel. But, there will be a select few who decide they are not only going to stay in the game, but that they are going to play harder and smarter than ever.

Those people will win during the recession and set themselves up to thrive long after the recession is over.