Economists had predicted that 2020 would be harsh on business long before the coronavirus pandemic checked into town. The pandemic has only made a bad situation worse; probably magnified the recession period from just 2020 to probably include 2021 and a couple more years after that. With that in mind, it is safe for businesses to prepare sufficiently for the looming, unimaginably huge economic downturn post-coronavirus. Which tools will you need to create a strategy to recession-proof your business? Here are a few suggestions for you:
1. Business assessment and analysis tools
During an economic downturn, all your energy, time, and resources should be focused on the key factors that can make or break your business. You have to clean up your operations so that you don’t waste your limited resources on non-priorities. That is where business assessment and analysis tools come into play. They help you revise your strategic plan so that your business can stay afloat at least until the economy normalizes. Software such as Tableau Public and OpenRefine are some of the assessment and analysis tools you can count on.
2. Product feedback tools
You might need to consider suspending the production, advertising, and/or distribution of low-profit products and instead focus on the items that bring in the most profit with the least labor and/or marketing input. That is why you need a tool that can analyze the labor required for each product, the marketing budget each product demands, and the profit margins it generates in the end. A good product feedback tool will not only help you with that but will also analyze customer comment, vote, and feedback on different items in your product offering.
3. Human capital management tools
A financial crisis might force you to declare some employees redundant. That is why you need human capital management software in order to easily identify the poor performers within your workforce or the skills that the company can survive without. If you don’t want to declare employees redundant, your other option would be to collaborate with employer agencies such as South Korea employer of record in managing your workforce. Such agencies will help you navigate state and local employment laws without going too hard on your finances. Besides, employer agencies serve as outsourced HR services, which eliminate the need for an in-house HR team and consequently slash your overhead costs.
4. Strategic planning tools
Of course, you already set priorities and allocate resources to different departments as per your strategic plan, but an economic downturn will more often than not render all those plans obsolete. Your mission and vision statements might not provide employees with the clarity and direction they need to keep the company up and running during the downturn. What you need now is a new strategic plan that incorporates the strengths that your business can leverage to survive the crisis, the weaknesses and threats you need to neutralize, and the opportunities you can capitalize on. Your new plan should also factor in the prevailing economic, social, and political environment within your market. You can only do all that within a short time span if you have reliable strategic planning tools.
5. Cost-effective marketing tools
This goes without saying: Any tool that can help you reach more customers for less is more than welcome during a cash crisis. That is why you are going to find these cost-effective marketing tools helpful:
· Email marketing. You can use it to speak directly to both existing and prospective customers in order to build loyalty and trust for your brand.
· SEO marketing. This might not be too cost-effective during a recession, but you can bet that it will bring you online business leads when done right.
· Content marketing. Write lots of blog content and post as many visuals across all your social media platforms in order to educate target customers, attract impressions, and hopefully convince people to pay you back by trying your products.
· Of course, social media marketing.
6. Financial management tools
Financial management tools such as QuickBooks will help you track invoices, payrolls, general ledgers, and day-to-day expenses so you don’t lose money in the process.
7. Affordable communication tools
Video web conferencing tools such as Zoom and Skype will also come in handy during an economic downturn because they enable you to conduct free meetings over the internet, so you don’t need to organize in-person meetings. That means lesser accommodation and transport costs for participants. Such tools only require a high-speed internet connection and you are set to go using any browsing device of your choice, smartphones included.
The decreased sales that characterize economic crises can leave your business extremely exposed and vulnerable. The good thing is that the 7 tools above will help you weather difficult times, although you still have a lot to do to recession-proof your business. Don’t panic though: Economic downturns come around quite often and businesses still find ways of surviving. Your business too will survive in case the dreaded recession finally catches up with us.