The jury is still out but many experts are expecting 2020 to be quite the year. Words like “recession” are starting to get mentioned increasingly among economists as people look at their calendars and notice that we’re overdue for another cyclical drop.

Will it happen in January 2020? Maybe not. But economic factors, combined with next year’s election, certainly point to an economic downturn somewhere between 2020 and 2021.

And it’s not just the downturn itself that we need to be cautious of; word on Wall Street is also of the severity of the recession.

Regardless of exactly when it happens, it will happen soon. And regardless of how bad it will get, it will feel bad.

But here’s the good news: you do not have to feel like you’re watching yourself fall inevitably off an economic cliff. You can get ready for the recession so that when it arrives, you’ll be prepared to capitalize on the opportunities (yes, opportunities!) that will arise.

Opportunities? In A Recession?

Recessions bring opportunities—but only if you are ready for them.

In a recession…

  • New competitors don’t enter the market as often, helping you keep your customers
  • Old competitors who aren’t ready can fold up shop and go on to something else
  • Employees tend to stick around because they don’t have as many choices to go to
  • Customers may be more price sensitive but many are willing to invest in repairing a current home versus upgrading to a new home
  • Lenders can be (surprisingly) desperate to lend money to qualified companies
  • And out-of-business competitors give up customer lists and equipment that allow you to prosper

So the question is…

How Do You Prepare For A Recession?

Here are a few ways that you can get ready:

#1 Strengthen Your Customer Relationships. Your customers will become even more important during a recession and many will also become more price sensitive. So make sure that your customer relationships are rock-solid going into 2020 so that customers see the value they get from you and won’t imagine going anywhere else.

#2 Improve The Financial Health Of Your Company. Just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean you can’t grow. And growth sometimes takes capital investment and borrowed money. Use the time right now prior to the recession to clean up any debt, improve your credit, and put aside a bit of capital so you can invest in growth. (Bonus: during a recession, you can often buy more things on sale, which means your dollar will go farther.)

#3 Let Your Employees Know That You Are Going to Fight For Them. If your employees watch the news, they’ll start getting increasingly scared about the recession. The best thing you can do is give them confidence that you don’t plan to go anywhere and, in fact, you are fully prepared for the recession right now. They’ll be more inclined to stick with an employer who goes into 2020 with a plan no matter what the economy does.

#4 Invest in More Marketing. Regardless of what your marketing is like now, consider investing further in it. It’s better to have too many customers going into a recession than not enough (and a lot of people right now are pulling back on their marketing to save money—do the opposite!). More marketing means more work, which brings in more money. So, even if the economy shakes out some of your core customers, you can still keep up momentum.

#5 Improve Your Close Rate. Customers want to buy from you. They’re calling your company today for services, and they’re talking to your experts and comfort advisors in their homes. Those are opportunities. But truth be told, many of those opportunities are slipping away because of your team’s inability to close. Sure, some might be great closers but what impact would it have on your company if everyone started closing just 1% or 2% more deals than they are? The benefits will add up fast.

#6 Change Your Mind. I’ve listed 5 really powerful strategies above and you should definitely implement all of them immediately, but the most important one that you need to implement first is this: change your mind. You need to change how you think about the recession. Too many people are worried about the recession to the point of inactivity. It’s okay to be concerned about the recession but don’t let it push you to inaction; rather, use it as inspiration to help you get prepared. A recession is an opportunity when you are prepared.

Summary

Economies go up and down. That’s just a natural cycle. Fortunately, it’s not an inevitable wave that you ride between success and suffering; rather, you have a surprising amount of control over your own success even in a recession.

With the coming recession, make sure you are prepared. Start with these 6 strategies and you’ll enter 2020 on a strong foot no matter what happens.

See full article on ContractorMag here

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