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By Valeh Nazemoff

Lead economists predict a recession and therefore slower economic activity.

While this idea can bring flashbacks of 2008 and mounting worry for business owners, the best course of action is preparation.

Marketing in a downturn is something that many struggle with as they navigate expenses while still trying to drive revenue. The truth is that many small businesses neglect marketing momentum in an attempt to save money, but this is not the best business decision in the long run.

In reality, you must strike the balance between marketing momentum and budget during the financial downturn. Here are a few tips to implement.


1.   Evaluate Your Resources

Both time and money are finite resources, and a recession can put a greater strain on them. Before you can master your time and budget effectively, you must nail down exactly what you have available.

We all live with an opportunity cap. There are limited hours per day, and the more time we spend on certain activities, the less we have for others. One resource you must assess is your time. Consider how much time you have for business activities, and the balance you need to strike between various activities.

Another consideration is the financial resources you have available. When the economy is strong and your revenue is predictable, you may be able to afford the same dollars for all marketing activities. Understandably, the economy can impact this. Based on how the recession will impact your industry and business, you may need to reduce the overall budget for marketing. Yet, what many don’t realize is that when you outsource marketing services, it can be 100% tax deductible for U.S. small businesses.

Additionally, some entrepreneurs and small business owners attempt to make up for this difference in budget with their time. They think that instead of paying someone to do the tasks, they can simply handle them alone. But remember time is also limited, and you must ensure it’s spent on high-level tasks that drive your business. Furthermore, you don’t want to sacrifice your lifestyle goals and end up struggling with burnout and chronic disease due to stress.

2.   Take Moment for Self-Discovery

Ultimately, automating, delegating and outsourcing can help you implement marketing momentum during a recession. But before you dive into splitting up responsibilities, take time for self-discovery.

Which activities are you good at? Which do you enjoy? On the other hand, what are some that you do not like or enjoy? This is what self-discovery is all about. The key is to examine all of the various parts of your business, including marketing, to lay out which activities you should do and which you should outsource either internally or externally.

We advise our clients to work through the self-discovery activity to help them understand the best strategy for owning vs automating vs delegating. Ultimately, you’ll break down tasks into the following categories:

  • I’m good at it and I like it.
  • I’m good at it, but I don’t like it.
  • I’m not good at it, but I like it.
  • I’m not good at it, and I don’t like it.

This breakdown will help you then determine how to best complete all of the different tasks for your marketing momentum. As you may imagine, the ones you love and are good at are best to own, while the others should be automated and/or delegated as necessary.


3.   Own vs Automate vs Delegate

Automating and delegating are two powerful ways to reduce costs during a recession, especially in light of layoffs. After breaking down where the common marketing momentum activities fall in the self-discovery activity, it’s time to determine which to own, which to automate, and which to delegate. Evaluate each task and determine how you’ll best handle it.

If it does not impede your ability to handle other critical business tasks, then it makes sense to “own” the tasks that you are good at and enjoy. However, if taking those tasks will cause you to lose time on other important ones, or eat into your lifestyle goals, then you still may need to implement automation or delegation.

Next, consider internal delegation. Does your internal team already have the resources for you to delegate the activity? Again, consider the skillset of your existing team, but also the time cap that they all have. If they can reasonably take the task without overworking or sacrificing time on something else important, then it makes sense to delegate internally.

But if your team does not have the skillset or time to handle the tasks, consider external delegation. Hiring additional team members or retaining employees is far more expensive than working with a complete digital marketing team. When delegating externally, you won’t need to worry about the cost of benefits packages. Furthermore, an experienced external team can help you implement key automation (like online booking appointments, chatbots, automated email campaigns, funnels, etc.) to further streamline your marketing momentum.

Keep Your Marketing Momentum Going During a Recession

The looming recession should not signal a backtrack from marketing momentum. Skipping out on marketing will only hurt your revenue and stifle business growth in the long run. On the contrary, you need to implement cost-effective marketing momentum to drive revenue during challenging times. Automating and outsourcing can help you balance marketing momentum and budget, but it all begins with taking a closer look at your skillset, interests, and internal resources.

Valeh Nazemoff

Valeh Nazemoff is an accomplished speaker, bestselling author, coach, and the founder of Engage 2 Engage, a digital marketing services company. She is passionate about improving people’s lives through strategic planning, collaborative teamwork, automation, and delegation. She removes the frustration, overwhelm, burnout, and stress that entrepreneurs and small businesses face in figuring out the various marketing elements so the focus remains on growing and scaling. Her books, Energize Your Marketing Momentum (2023), Supercharge Workforce Communication (2019), The Dance of the Business Mind (2017), and The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind (2014) aim to help businesses create order from chaos. She has also been featured in many publications such as Inc., Entrepreneur, SUCCESS, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and more.

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