Some analysts appear certain of it, while others predict continued growth, even as they note inflation and geopolitical chaos.
Either way, it's best to be prepared.
Because so many economists and businesses missed warning signs in the past, it seems that experts are quick to temper any optimism in their forecasts, with even bullish outlooks including some gray clouds.
Top among them should be your business website. If designed right, your website should be your best salesperson day in and day out. In a downturn, it becomes an even more important asset for your business, so you need to optimize it before that time comes.
Below, I'll cover:
4 ways to recession-proof your website.
Real-world steps you can take today to get started.
The pandemic sharpened the attention every potential customer pays to your website. When so many things are in flux, people count on an updated website and updated Google My Business profile to know if you are even open for business.
Potential customers make judgments about the quality, health, and professionalism of your business by checking out your website and it's no surprise.
A trusted educational resource builds meaningful connections with prospects. When they research their problems and find that you provide answers and solutions, they are more likely to buy from you, either now or in the future.
In an economic downturn, trust-based relationships are more important than ever. In a recession, buyers are even more careful with their money. They will thoroughly research any purchase they are going to make.
Focus on The Big 5
In order to build trust, you need to provide answers to customers’ most common questions. No matter what you're selling, your buyers want to know:
2. Learn digital sales and marketing best practices
Just as you should focus on educating your prospects by way of your website, you should also focus on your own team’s learning. An impending downturn should remind you of the importance of staying sharp in all ways.
Those professionals who were partying at industry events should have been bettering their own knowledge and skill-sets.
In a period of uncertainty, the competence of each team member needs to be high. Your salespeople need to know how to best use digital assets in the sales process. Your marketers need to be up to date on SEO best practices. Your videographer needs to stay on top of cutting-edge programs and techniques.
You don’t want to wait for the economy to go sour to start talking about creative, effective ways to market and sell your products and services.
When your team is at its best, your website will be at its best.
What to start doing now:
Mandate that your employees focus on professional development.
Attend conferences, summits, and industry events as a team.
3. Make sure your website conveys the range of your product/service catalog
In an economic downturn, your business may need to pivot and shift focus.
This isn't time to completely try something new, but it could be a good time to explore your range — and you should make sure your website reflects that.
Let me give you an example.
At my company River Pools, our main focus is installing fiberglass pools, however, we also offer a fiberglass resurfacing service to our clients.
It certainly isn’t a primary business focus, but it is something we do.
As an economic downturn approaches, we could build on this skill by producing content about it. That way, when pool owners research pool resurfacing, our website would come up. This positions us to move into a new revenue stream if the market demands it.
Again, I don’t think a recession is a time to suddenly open up new facets of your business. After all, growth takes cash, and you are likely to have less of it.
Rather, I recommend positioning yourself to be ready to move into related, low-cost expansions if the market opens up.
As an added benefit, these new pieces of content can drive more traffic to your site. Perhaps a pool owner who might not normally look for a pool installer finds your business and realizes you have services or products well-suited to her needs.
The pandemic was a time when many businesses pivoted and expanded. Lean into that experience and use it to see the opportunities around you.
What to start doing now:
Brainstorm what related services you might begin to focus on, considering the skills you have.
Add these topics to your content calendar — and then to your website.
4. Talk about cost and value — a lot
During a recession, people are watching every dollar. As I said before, customers always want to know the same five things, no matter what they’re buying: cost, comparisons, reviews, potential drawbacks, and lists of their best options.