You don’t have to be an economist to learn how to recession-proof your virtual assistant business. You should be learning how to do it right now when we are still in a recession.
In your virtual assistant business, you may be facing a decline in the number of customers ordering services. Or some of your customers have downgraded their subscriptions.
As an entrepreneur, all that is happening must impact the decisions and strategies you adopt for your business. Hence, you should start planning how to apply the following strategies to recession-proof your business.
The Meaning of a Recession-proof Business
The first step to defining a recession-proof business is understanding what recession is. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spreading across the economy and lasting for more than a few months.
The common indicators of a recession include.
The decline in the gross domestic product (GDP)
Decline in employment
A decline in real income
A decline in industrial production
A decline in wholesale-retail sales.
Another thing you ought to know is that recessions are a natural component of the free market system. And if previous recessions are to go by, it is harder to predict or control when a recession will strike.
Its unpredictable nature means that not all businesses will be affected in the same way or extent by the recession. However, based on an analysis of past recessions, small businesses are usually the worst hit by recessions.
Therefore, the only way to be safe is by proactively developing strategies to recession-proof your business. Being recession-proof means that your business is better equipped to economically withstand the impacts of a recession than most other businesses. Apply the following strategies to achieve this status.
1. Invest in Client Relationships
Once again, the importance of having loyal customers becomes evident during the harder economic times. These customers are vital in maintaining your business as a going concern.
Trying to secure new customers during tough economic times may be challenging. You may spend so much on customer acquisition costs, yet acquire only a few customers in return.
Instead, the best strategy is cultivating your relationship with the existing customers. They will offer your virtual assistant business an important lifeline through the business they throw your way.
One of the defining attributes of a recession is a decline in demand for goods and services. You can see why your loyal customer needs to continue trusting you and keep ordering from you.
For this reason, it would be best to maintain an accessible customer support infrastructure that can handle minor customer issues. Happy customers will also be good ambassadors of your brand during these tough times.
2. Forecast Effectively
You cannot predict or control when a recession will strike, but you can forecast and plan for your business's future. Forecasting offers your virtual assistant business advanced preparedness for the hard times ahead.
The Covid 19 pandemic was a good enough indicator of bad economic times ahead. Therefore, your business strategies since then should include cushioning your business from hardships.
The rationale for forecasting is to maintain a long-term perspective. For example, forecasting means you can predict how much your revenue will decline.
Therefore, your long-term strategies will cushion your business against excessive revenue decline. For example, you can develop discount strategies that help encourage your existing customers.
3. Cut on Your Costs
The phrase "tighten your belt" was created for such times. During a recession, you cannot afford to spend like other times. Because your small business’ revenues may decline. spending more. You do not want a scenario where your expenses exceed your business income.
A rule of thumb is to only spend on products and services your business cannot do without. Minimize unnecessary expenses that have little or no value to your business. Also, adopt a minimalist approach to spending.
4. Maximize Your Core Competencies
There may be the temptation to diversify your virtual assistant business to make up for the declining revenue. Avoid this temptation at all costs.
Instead, focus more on your core competencies. If you are best known for your social media management skills, your efforts should focus on increasing your competitive advantage.
That entails ensuring that none of your current customers seeks these services from competitors. Moreover, it would be best if you worked towards improving your brand awareness, especially on the core competencies.
5. Maintain Your Marketing Consistency
The logical way to maintain your brand awareness is through marketing your business. where do your ideal customers hang out? When you answer this question, use that platform to market your services.
Keep posting even if no one reacts to your marketing posts. They see it and may remember your business when they need the service you’re offering.
One advantage you have over other businesses during these tough economic times is that businesses cannot entirely do away with your services.
You can maintain your marketing consistency by employing digital marketing techniques. An example is using an automated email marketing campaign.
Such an automated email campaign will help you cultivate your customer relationships. It will also be an effective way to inform customers of new offers that will encourage them to continue seeking your VA services.
Learn More Ways to Keep Your Virtual Assistant Business Competitive
During the recession, you need all the tricks in the bag to keep your business afloat. Discover some top tricks by joining the free VA mixer hosted by Marie. Then apply the tricks you’ll learn to keep your business growing.