How to make your retail business recession-proof

The world is going through some crazy times. Whether you’re still selling online, doing click and collect, or not selling at all — there are steps you can take now to minimise the impact of a recession or protect your business from it.

  • Invest in digital transformation – When stores were forced to close, retailers that had strong digital infrastructures were in a relatively better position to act. Companies that didn’t have their digital ducks in a row had to ramp up their efforts because it was the only way to survive. Doubling down on ecommerce and connecting with shoppers digitally are critical actions to take. Now is the perfect time to integrate all your systems.
  • Get all your channels working together – Connect all your sales channels together and keep all your data in sync. Aside from saving you from having to reconcile your records and re-enter your data, having a tightly integrated system enables your sales channels to work together, so you can provide services like curbside pickup, local store fulfilment, and same-day delivery.
  • Run a leaner retail business – Cut unnecessary spending and focus your resources on revenue-driving activities. Are there programs you’re paying for but no longer using? Talk to your team about the need to cut costs, they may be able to provide helpful insights.
  • Strengthen your customer relationships – Stay on top of customer communications by regularly touching base with shoppers. This is a great way to stay top-of-mind. Depending on your customer base, utilise various communication channels, including phone, email, SMS and social media.
  • Be creative with how you position your business – Getting people to spend during a recession is much harder, but it’s doable if you position your business the right way. For instance, positioning your products as useful items for working from home. Make sure your brand messages are relevant to your customer’s situation.
  • When revenue picks up, stockpile cash – Cash is vital for your long term viability, and especially during a downturn. Make sure you have enough liquid funds in your account at all times. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 10% of your annualised revenue in the bank and you may want to set this higher. You’ll need to ensure you have cover for your compliance obligations too.

If you are facing multiple challenges in your business, focus on the things that you can change (and that matter).

We can help with your short and long term business plans to build a stronger business.


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