How to future proof your business in an uncertain economic environmentMar 16, 2023
For International Women's Day this year, Mia Fileman and Fiona Johnston co-hosted an in-person event in Melbourne.
It was a fabulous evening of discussion, community and connection. The conversation centred around future-proofing your business in an uncertain economic environment.
Here's what we covered.
What is the economic climate, and how is that impacting your industry?
- Online courses and programs are a hard sell as pursestrings have tightened
- A lot more demand for done for you and 1-on-1 services
- Most businesses are down due to economic uncertainty and interest rate hikes: if you’re doing it tough right now, you are doing it right
- We will see many small businesses close over this period, and service providers accept jobs. Remember that business ownership is a game of Survivor.
- eCommerce declining or going back to pre covid numbers
- Business without strong value proposition leaving business ownership
- Drop in group program interest, rise in 1:1 support for business owners
What are you doing to future-proof your business?
- Cutting the fat: anything that’s nice to have and is not currently driving leads or sales is being let go. Specifically Pinterest and YouTube. It may bear fruit if we plug away at these channels longer, but I’m not prepared to invest in those right now.
- Price freeze to give our customers some economic relief
Reconciling my budget every month so I’m across all our revenue and expenditure. Knowledge is power.
- Focusing on the Return on effort for all of my activities
- Following what’s easy - i.e. making sure people know about my 1:1 programs
- Reducing my group program launches from 3 to 2
- Adding a supported version of my group program between launches
What can others do to future-proof their business?
- Focus on retention: it’s going to be harder and more expensive to acquire customers this year. Meta ad costs are through the roof. So, focus on upselling existing customers, working with them in new ways and turning them into evangelists for your brand.
- Say no to anything that doesn’t drive revenue; this is not the time to use up precious resources working for free “exposure”
- Don’t be tempted to discount and drop prices: people have a long memory. A price freeze is the smarter option.
- Know your numbers (marketing and dollars)
- Lean into what’s easy
- Get laser-focused on what product or service your promoting
What are examples you’ve seen?
Minimum Engagement Value: only accepting projects that meet a minimum income threshold so you’re spreading yourself thin on a million tiny projects. Your rates don’t need to change, its just a bigger commitment.
Grants: either applying for a grant for your business or finding grants that your customers can use to work with you. We just became a provider under the Northern Territory's Business Growth scheme so our customers can get up to $2500 of work funded by the government.
3 Practical Tips
- Campaigns: we managed to fill 19 out of 20 spots in Campaign Classroom in March by using marketing campaigns. They work; we are a testament to that.
- Know your $ x volume to hit your annual target
- Lean into what’s easiest to sell
Uncertain economic times are a fact of life and business. Business owners should take try to take these seasons in our strides and always look after their mental health. Running a business is not for the faint hearted.
A $300 donation was made to Djirra, a Victorian Indigenous Women's organisation, from the proceeds of the ticket sales.
Global Marketing Strategist
Global Marketing Strategist