The beginning of third quarter is a time of heating and ripening; when the days are at their longest and the sun seems to stand still in the sky for a while. But by the end of Q3 we’ll be feeling the shortening days (in the Northern Hemisphere) and we’ll notice signs of the return of cooler weather. By the end of this quarter anything in Nature that has not been harvested and preserved for winter will be starting to fall from the trees or fade into dormancy until next year.

In business there are ways that we can emulate this natural practice of tending, harvesting, and preserving. As I reflected on what might be helpful to write to you for Q3, the not-so-great economic climate kept coming to mind.

Talk of worsening inflation and the potential fallout from it, as well as talk of supply chain issues, is becoming fairly mainstream at this point. Some folks I know remain generally optimistic and trust that it will all work out, while others have a fully stocked ‘prepper pantry’ and believe we’re already in big trouble and there’s no easy way out.

No matter where you find yourself on this spectrum, it can be useful to talk about the resilience of your business.

Resilience in Business

Questionable world economic status or not, a robust business is always a worthy goal. So here are 5 resilience-building tasks you can do for the love of your business:

1. Invest in your client relationships.

This may look like focusing on your best existing clients rather than investing a lot of money attracting new ones. Marketing psychology shows that it’s much easier to get repeat business from satisfied existing customers than it is to gain new ones. And the win-win there is that those happy clients will market for you, telling their friends and family about your service and indirectly bringing in new faces.

Investing in client relationships can also look like being really consistent in your brand voice, your offers, and your contact with customers. This helps people to feel confident that they know you and trust you, making them more likely to work with you again or to sign on for their first service with you.

2. Niche down (and get crystal clear with your messaging).

We all like to feel like we are understood and that we belong. We absolutely love it when the services and businesses we rely on cater directly to who we identify as in the world. Getting clear and specific with your customer niche and the way you market to your ideal clients will produce loyal repeat business that you can depend upon in a recession. For example, if I am a full-time parent of two or three boisterous kiddos, the café that markets itself as “family friendly” and “for parents” is going to be my first choice when I want to pick up some treats and caffeinate, even if it isn’t the closest place or the best coffee I’ve ever had. I’ll go there again and again because I know I am “their kinda people” and I feel a sense of belonging there.

So, in your business, who are your people? And how will you signal to them that you are open for their business in particular? Those are the clients who will carry your practice through tough economic times and recruit more of the same on your behalf.

3. Create multiple revenue streams.

Having a variety of sources of income and a range of price points is helpful to maintain steady income, regardless of the economy. Incorporating things like one-to-one services, group programs, digital courses, in-person workshops, merchandise for sale, and affiliate agreements can help ensure that the funds are trickling in from all directions. Having your proverbial ‘eggs all in one basket’ leaves your business more vulnerable to an unexpected change in the marketplace. Multiple revenue streams will help your business stay flexible and capable of weathering a storm or two.

4. Establish flexible client agreements.

If times are tough economically, a little flexibility can ensure those precious client dollars go to your business rather than your competitor. One way to help build customer loyalty is through ‘negotiated flexibility’, where there is mutual benefit based on a special agreement.

Keyboard Image | Physis Publishing

For example, you might customize your offer in exchange for faster payment terms, or reduce the length of the contract for a price the client is comfortable paying. As well as helping to stabilize your revenue streams, being flexible shows authentic goodwill and increases repeat customers.

5. Create meaningful nurture campaigns.

In a struggling economy it becomes even more important to market consistently to maximize your exposure to previous and future clients. Organic marketing in the form of interviews and articles tends to be more effective than traditional paid advertising. If you can generate face-to-face opportunities through speaking, networking, or workshops, this is ideal.

Whatever ways you choose to get in front of your dream clients, make sure your business is ready to capture leads and support them through the process of signing up for your service. Let me know if you need help with this part… it’s a passion and specialty of mine.