As we head into our second recession in as many years (or, more realistically, as we continue navigating through the current recession), we're all being confronted with what to do next.
Regardless of whether you're in a "recession-proof" business, you're inevitably going to face drastic changes. You're either hunkering down, cutting expenses, and running lean—or you're activating game-time mode, tightening your core, and leaning as far over your ski tips as you can.
This article is for those of you who are leaning forward, who are looking for growth strategy frameworks that are agile and responsive, and that treat weaknesses like opportunities.
My father started his road construction business in the 80s, at the height of inflation—when interest rates were out of this world. He always told me that people thought he was crazy for doubling down on himself during the economic contraction, but he saw it differently. He didn't have all the baggage of the larger, more established companies that didn't have the capacity for change. He had a better way to do things, and his customers were open to something new.
What about you?
Do you see today's economic disruption as a reason to hunker down or double down?
Two years is an extremely short amount of time to go through TWO major economic events. Between a looming recession we've back-burnered for the last several years, a global pandemic, a trade war with China, and global supply chains being disrupted even further by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it's a lot of bad news.
However, not every business is seeing it that way. Many have THRIVED by finding opportunities that came about solely and only because of "times like these."
Call them opportunists. Call them geniuses. Whatever the label, they're winning, and our marketing growth strategy is why.
Medical Staffing Agency
Specialty: Non-essential medicine
The challenge: Being in a position where their doctors and nurses were considered non-essential, there was an immediate loss of jobs when the pandemic hit.
Mindset: Seeing this as an opportunity to scoop up major market share while their competitors went into "hunker down" mode, our client went all-in with growth.
What we did: Knowing how difficult jobs were going to be since there were none, we set our sites on filling the database with engaged applicants. We created content that appealed to the talent, such as salary and interviewing guides—which could also easily be repurposed to the client when the market shifted (a pillar of growth philosophy). We also used this time to accelerate their internal technology adoption lifecycle.
Just as in any type of staffing, speed and quality submissions are the foundations of success for our client. When hospitals, clinics, and labs started opening their doors again, they were inundated with a backlog of work. Our client was able to make a lot of placements fast thanks to our inbound program—beating out their competition the vast majority of the time, since they were still shaking off the cobwebs when our client was making placements.
The outcome: Best. Year. Ever.
(Link to full case study coming soon)
Back Office Service for Small Business
Specialty: Micro to medium-sized staffing agencies
The challenge: Many of their existing clients served industry sectors that tend to struggle during recessions and times of disruption. There was concern that turnover would increase and there wouldn't be enough sales interest to overpower it. They were preparing for a rather rocky year and bracing for the worst.
Mindset: They were looking to minimize losses by at least replacing clients that may disappear with a new generation of agencies that could grow and reverse declines in the following year.
What we did: We created an inbound workflow aimed at his easier-to-land but lesser ROI clients (solopreneurs) using one of my favorite tools—a Google Sheet calculator. And, obviously, it was designed to be easily repurposed for their other target markets as well. What kind of growth marketers would we be otherwise?
We also put significant energy into creating and implementing an inbound sales process and culture. When bandwidth in sales became too constrained, we helped prevent opportunities from slipping through the cracks with sales automation.
The outcome: They GREW! And they did it again in 2021... and they're doing it again in 2022! Between generating significantly more deals than originally anticipated, leadership was able to remove themselves from subjective measuring activities and focus on the business, creating a new service line and partnering in a joint venture.
In other words, Best. Years. Ever.
(full case study coming soon)
Specialty: Sophisticated traders
The challenge: Our client was new to the D2C game, and they didn't know how to reach their new core audience. There are a LOT of big players that they're up against with name recognition and very deep pockets. Market volatility is often tied to economic factors, and with so much uncertainty about the future during, through, and even post-pandemic, there was a lot of stress about making sure money was well-spent.
The Mindset: Knowing the significant opportunities that lay ahead with the potentially volatile stock market and how important it was to attract as many new users as possible ahead of the disruption, they decided to try multiple approaches and vendors to help them grow.
What we did: We attacked this from several angles; from the app stores to regular SEM and social media retargeting. We also built an inbound funnel with a comprehensive trading guide dictated by their industry experts. We tried different messaging, visual, and platform strategies, and we bolstered massive support for their live online events.
The outcome: We helped them reach Q4 goals by the end of Q2. We found messaging strategies and platforms that yield consistent outcomes that continue to drive costs down with each sprint cycle. In other words, we SMASHED their expectations and have moved on to our THIRD engagement.
(full case study coming soon)
Growth Strategy Transcends Market Changes
Growth can be a difficult goal for small businesses during "times like these," when there's nothing but doom and gloom on the news. But for those seeking opportunities, growth strategy cases like the above are not uncommon. Disruptions like what we are experiencing today are gateways to rapid achievement. Click HERE to learn more about how we implement growth strategy frameworks for businesses like yours—and win big despite the economic conditions of the day: