Great news! The recession is coming

Like a good forest fire, a recession can be a positive thing. Stay with me.

Despite a string of bad press, forest fires are known to be good for the ecosystems they visit.

Skeptical? OK, that’s probably a healthy response.

According to CalFire, forest fires “remove low-growing underbrush, clean the forest floor of debris, open it up to sunlight, and nourish the soil. Reducing this competition for nutrients allows established trees to grow stronger and healthier.”

Recessions do the same thing.

Almost anybody can succeed when things are easy. But recessions, counterintuitively, often clear the path to better outcomes. Economic downturns create challenges, yes — but also opportunities for those ready to grab them. If you’re quick to adapt, you’ll be quicker to benefit.

Over the years, many of our clients have grown during various recessions. In fact, we have too.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the coming recession and position your organization to benefit:

  • Set goals
    Revenue targets, open rates, click-through rates, and engagement all monitor pretty much everything you’re doing that should have a positive outcome. Find out what’s not working and make an adjustment.
  • Install an economic alarm system
    Set numeric indicators for everything possible, and then check in on them at least weekly. Cashflow, expense budgets, profitability…everything that’s a cost or a danger goes here. Doing this helps you avert danger, in the way GPS alerts you to an accident ahead.
  • Check in with your clients
    Find out how they’re doing and how you might help. Even just some friendly counsel goes a long way.
  • Increase your outreach
    Don’t have a regular email program? Now’s the time to set one up. Same goes for social. These cost almost nothing, but they keep you present with people who need you — either now, or later.
  • Replace anxiety with affirmation
    Although you can’t control recessions, you can take comfort in knowing that they come and go. So long as you’re on top of your numbers, and take action when and where needed, you’ll be fine.

Recently, I had lunch with a colleague who was practically rubbing his hands at the thought of an economic downturn. “Man, I love a recession!” he said. He quoted Warren Buffett: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked.”

If you need help putting on your trunks…um, no, that’s a bad idea. But if you want to discuss the ways you can prepare (and benefit) from the recession, let’s talk.

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