Emerging Strategies Small Businesses Use During Recessions

Graphic, superimposed in front of a bulding, showing a downward financial trend, with the words "new crisis" scrolling below.

Recessions usually hit business owners significantly harder than people who are employed, due to the negative impact on the purchasing power of customers. A recession often occurs when there is negative economic growth between two quarters compared with the national GDP. They will usually last a few months while the economy balances out of it and can take several years to turn around.

While this can be devastating for a business, there are some silver linings for the prepared entrepreneur and the more flexible ones. Here are five strategies you can utilise to ensure your small business emerges more robust after a recession.

Customer Behaviour

Know customer behaviour during a recession or economic downturn. You may predict what kind of conduct your consumers would adopt by being aware of the many types of customer behaviour in such circumstances. Customer behaviour at this time falls into four main categories:

Essentials-Only Buyers

These buyers are often most affected by the recession and can only make necessary purchases. These are often low-income earners, but high-income earners may also fall in this bracket if they face additional challenges requiring them to prioritise spending.

Cautious Buyers

These buyers tend to think more in the long term and base most of their purchase decisions on that in mind. They are often pessimistic about a quick economic recovery but usually unaffected by unemployment. They may also reduce spending like essential-only buyers if things get too tough.

Comfortable Buyers

These buyers are usually unfazed by the downturn of the economy and are very confident about their future and their cash flow. They include the top 5% of the population and often maintain their spending habits with only slight adjustments.

Carpe Diem Buyers

These consumers prioritise the product or service's experience over the product itself. They might avoid pricier purchases, yet their spending behaviours are prone to drastic adjustment only if their employment status is affected.

Strategies For Small Businesses

Focus on your Strengths

At the inception of your business, you undertook an evaluation of your product or service, scrutinising both your business plan's merits and shortcomings. You likely tested these concepts and identified those that didn't warrant further investment.

Amid a recession, it becomes crucial to concentrate on your strengths, whether they pertain to a product or a particular service. Focus your budget and marketing efforts on selling that particular product or service to your current customers instead of weaker products or services. This is crucial in ensuring the success of your business through the brutal economic downturn.

Maintain Your Cash Flow

Concentrating on your best-selling products and then reducing production costs is one of the more efficient strategies to make sure you can do this. Cutting wasteful spending will help you have more money coming in than going out. Another smart move would be to talk to your suppliers for better deals for the challenging economic situation. You can also consider applying for car title loans.

Car title loans are short-term loans that are great for quick emergency money because of their simpler application process compared to other traditional loans. Title loans don't usually require a credit check, making them accessible even if you have a less-than-perfect credit score. You can check your car title loan eligibility online and review the minimal details required to apply for this type of loan. The amount of money you can borrow on your title loan is determined by the value of your car, and lenders will often offer you flexible repayment plans to tailor your payments to your financial situation.

Keep Marketing

Businesses often fade away during a recession because many people forget about certain businesses when they are caught up in surviving the economic downturn. However, you can use the opportunity to change your marketing strategy to connect with your customers meaningfully.

You can focus your marketing on your best products and how they can better help your customers weather the challenging situation. Consider transitioning your business to an online platform to access a broader customer base with minimal expenses. You can also focus your marketing strategies on both past clients and individuals who have engaged with your business before.

Focus On Your Existing Customers

Getting new clients is significantly tougher than keeping your current ones, and this is made even more difficult during a recession. Demonstrating your unwavering support during challenging times can reassure them that you are there for their needs. It would be ideal if you demonstrated this more through your actions than words.

Your clients will be more likely to believe in you and may even consider referring you to one of their pals. You could also re-engage with past customers and capitalise on offers that are not counteractive to your efforts for profit but are still attractive in the recession.

Automate or Delegate

Automation helps you to keep operating as if you have a full staff. Invoicing, your social media posting schedule, and email marketing messaging are a few examples of things you can automate. You could also choose to delegate some of these tasks so you can focus on building relationships with your existing clients while your marketing continues unhindered.


The right strategy to help your small business through a recession must be based on the type of customers you have. Understanding them better will help you choose which changes to make. You can maintain your cash flow while building on relationships critical to your business.