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How to Survive a Recession

The state of the economy is fragile and can change overnight. 

And if you keep up with the news at all,  Interest rates, job losses, stock market… it’s not in a stable place right now!

The bad news is… 

It could blow over and leave you unscathed. 

Or it could cripple your business. 

The good news is… 

You can learn how to survive a recession. 

It’s all about how you prepare for a recession and take action. 

Here’s how. 

How to Survive a Recession: Your Choices Matter 

So, a recession has hit and you were unprepared. 

Don’t worry. 

You’re not the only one! 

It can be easy to get wrapped up in life and not actually notice what’s happening with the economy! 

But now that you know it’s here… 

It’s time to hunker down and get through it safely. 

With your business intact. 

Here’s my best advice. 

Double Down on Existing Clients 

Now is not the time to go all-in on lead generation and conversions. 

(Unless, of course, you have no clients). 

Rather, it will benefit you to focus on your existing clients. 

The cost to acquire new clients is higher than the cost to maintain current ones. 

But ultimately, this benefits you in 2 ways: 

  1. It saves you money 
  2. It builds trust with your existing clients 

One is great. 

Two is better. 

If you can show your current clients that you have their back even in tough times… 

There’s a high chance that their loyalty will skyrocket. 

Re-Engage With Past Clients 

If you do need new clients, your first port of call should be old ones. 

You can make them a compelling offer to entice them to work with you again. 

Even if you can get a couple of once-off projects, it could help your cash flow. 

This leads nicely into the next point… 

Adjust Your Offer 

It’s entirely possible that what you were offering before the recession hit… 

Is no longer going to work. 

It could be: 

  • Considered a luxury 
  • Too high-ticket 

You may need to adjust what you’re offering to fill the need of the moment. 

Which, during a recession, is usually something: 

  • More affordable 
  • Easy to consume 
  • Easy to access 
  • With large benefits for the times 

For example, if you’ve been offering business coaching… 

That’s going to be one of the things that goes out the window as clients’ cash flows dry up. 

So how can you adjust your offer to be relevant so you still have work? 

Well, maybe you could leverage your experience with sales… 

To offer clients an offer & landing page consultation and rework. 

To make their own business more relevant for the times. 

Exactly what you’re doing 😉 

This means: 

  • You get paid 
  • They adapt to the times 
  • Hopefully they keep getting work (albeit it perhaps slightly different work) 
  • They’re forever grateful to you for your role in them getting through the recession 

See how it works? 

You can always go back to your old offer when it’s more relevant again. 

But in changing times, changing offers are a must. 

Reevaluate Your Pricing 

If your offer is still relevant but money could become an issue… 

Reevaluate your pricing. 

If you’ve got solid clients who you can trust, lowering your price for them during this time can be a game-changer. 

Yes, this part of learning how to survive a recession requires sacrifice on your part. 

But I can guarantee, they’ll never forget it. 

And when the economy picks up again and you raise your prices, not many will complain. 

If you’re trying to get new clients, check what others are charging and stay competitive. 

Offer more. Price less (just a touch). 

Less money is still good money if it’s coming in regularly at this time. 

Reconsider Marketing Efforts 

It’s tempting to stop marketing during a recession. 

Maybe you don’t want to seem pushy. 

Perhaps your marketing is costing you too much. 

But stopping now means you’ll disappear into the recession black hole. 


  • Reassess your marketing channels and marketing strategies
  • Redirect your themes to be appropriate for the times 

For example, social media is free. 

Bang up your marketing on social, and you don’t need to spend a cent. 

If you have an email list, now is the time to beef up your email marketing, don’t be nervous about sending email newsletters.

You’re speaking directly to warm leads, which are hard to find during a recession. 

If you don’t have an email list, start building one and send email campaigns.

Offer a small but valuable lead magnet, collect email addresses, and keep marketing. 

If you want to stick with paid ads, now might be a great time to retarget. 

Add a new spin on your ads and see what you can get. 

Be Clever About Cash 

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how tough it can be! 

What you NEED to do to survive a recession… 

Is trim the fat. 

Cut out dead weight. 

Strip things down. 

So, basically, control your spending (personal and business). 

Creating a marketing budget is a great way to do so. 

Other potential ways to save: 

  • Renegotiate pricing with vendors if possible. 
  • Offer your service for free in return for what you need. (eg. I’ll write you a landing page if you create a marketing video for me. May work best with other freelancers and not corporates/software, etc). 
  • Organise financial assistance. 

Look for New Opportunities to Leverage Your Experience 

If clients have gone quiet, it’s time to start thinking out of the box. 

How else can you share your knowledge and make money from it? 

Now might be the time to create an online course. 

Or a digital product.  It’s a great opportunity to revisit your products or services.

Which you can do using completely free tools like: 

Charge a small fee for it. 

The best thing about this kind of stuff is that you create it once… 

And sell multiple times. 

If you market yourself right, that $29 can quickly become thousands. 

Recession-Proofing Your Business 

If you’re all good right now and aren’t suffering the effects of a recession, that’s great! 

But don’t assume it’ll be that way every time the economy dips. 

How can you make your business more recession-proof and survive the economic downturn?

Here are some ideas to implement before you get hit hard… 

So the hard hit never comes. 

Get Into a Social Media Habit 

Social media is free. 

Every post is a chance to market yourself… 

For nothing. 

You already have an audience. 

It’s marketing for nothing. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Pick one or two platforms – make sure they’re where your people hang out. 
  • Post consistently (check platform guidelines on this). 
  • Post valuable, actionable content that people can use. 
  • Create relevant graphics in Canva (take a free course if you aren’t sure how). 
  • Try to be original and stand out in a crowded market. 
  • Reply to comments, engage with your people. 
  • Join groups in your niche and interact there. 
  • Don’t forget CTAs. 
  • Leverage marketing automation tools to save time.
  • Create a free lead magnet and build your email list (a second marketing channel). 

Spread Out 

Or as the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

Because if you drop that basket, you’ve got no eggs left. 

If you’ve got a stash of eggs elsewhere, though… 

You’ll be alright. 

I’m a big fan of having multiple income streams (and not just in a recession, to thrive in business it’s important to have multiple sources of income.

Which is why I suggested creating a course or digital product further up. 

Expand Your Skill Set 

As they say, skills pay the bills! 

It’s always a good idea to learn skills that are slightly outside of what you do. 

Some skills that can almost ALWAYS be leveraged during a recession: 

  • Copywriting 
  • Design work 
  • Website design 
  • Video creation 

Being able to do these things means you’ll always have something to fall back on. 

Create an Emergency Savings Fund 

You never know when you might crack a tooth. 

Or burst a tyre. 

Or lose a client or two going into a recession. 

It’s a pretty good idea to put aside cash while you’re doing well… 

So that if a tough spell comes along, you’re covered. 

Not only does it mean your stress levels won’t go through the roof… 

But you’ll be able to continue running your business as normal while your competitors may be a little less prepared. 

If you’re prone to dipping into your stash during non-emergencies, it may be worthwhile investing in a policy or a money saver account that can’t be easily accessed unless absolutely necessary. 

Final Thoughts 

Going into a recession can be nerve-wracking. 

But it can also be an opportunity for change. 

If you’re flexible and open to new ideas, you’ll be alright. 

Regardless of how the economy is going right now, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the future. 

Adaptability is key. 

If you’re willing to: 

  • Make changes 
  • Act decisively 
  • Try new things 
  • Get out of your comfort zone 
  • Be on your clients’ side 
  • Give up luxuries 

You’re already on track to figuring out not only how to survive a recession… 

But to thrive when it’s all done and dusted!

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About Lilach Bullock

Hi, I’m Lilach, a serial entrepreneur! I’ve spent the last 2 decades starting, building, running, and selling businesses in a range of niches. I’ve also used all that knowledge to help hundreds of business owners level up and scale their businesses beyond their beliefs and expectations.

I’ve written content for authority publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc, Twitter, Social Media Examiner and 100’s other publications and my proudest achievement, won a Global Women Champions Award for outstanding contributions and leadership in business.

My biggest passion is sharing knowledge and actionable information with other business owners. I created this website to share my favorite tools, resources, events, tips, and tricks with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, small business owners, and startups. Digital marketing knowledge should be accessible to all, so browse through and feel free to get in touch if you can’t find what you’re looking for!


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