2 Ways to Boost Sales in a Recession

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During a recession, consumers are more likely to analyze where they spend their money, so you have to work hard to earn their business.

Here are two major ways to boost sales.

These tips will get new customers stepping through your doors and coming back for more. The great thing is, they’re not just applicable to recessions!

You can use these methods any time business is slow or competition is high.

We’ll also provide tips for recession-proofing your business at the end of this post.

Boosting sales during a recession (and beyond)

To boost sales during a recession, you need to be clever about your marketing, but we also recommend taking advantage of affordable technologies.

Method 1: Use non-traditional marketing

Direct marketing is nothing new, but businesses are increasingly turning to non-traditional media.


Because it’s less expensive than traditional advertising mediums (like television and radio) and can be tailored to reach a small or large target demographic.

For these reasons, direct campaigns and direct selling have become very popular among businesses during recessions.

Examples of direct marketing:

  • Fliers
  • Street ads
  • Promotional letters
  • Coupons
  • Customer appreciation events

The more clever your campaign, the more likely it is to boost sales.

Non-traditional marketing example

For instance, PETA’s 2009 Super Bowl advertisement was banned for being too sexually explicit. It is widely presumed that PETA intentionally made the ad overly explicit with the intention of creating word-of-mouth publicity, which is even more valuable than airtime during the Super Bowl.

The supposed “plan” worked – PETA’s commercial was spoofed on television shows like The View, and copies of the video floated around the Internet virally for months. PETA also avoided the $3 million it cost in 2009 for 30 seconds of Super Bowl air time.

By understanding how the marketing world works, PETA earned almost free major national publicity.

Method 2: Use technology to boost sales

Social media sites are great ways for you to keep in touch with your employees, but technology can also offer huge pools of potential customers.

Advertise online and make sure your business has professional accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

(TimeForge offers great schedule notification options through social media and SMS.)

If you need help coming up with creatives, you can use an ad creator or AI writing assistant to tailor your ads for your audience. ChatGPT is a free option.

Don’t neglect customer reviews

It’s very important that you stay on top of customer reviews.

Check reviews of your business from the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List. Be proactive with review information and use it in your next staff meeting to improve your product.

And don’t forget to respond to reviews on sites where you can do so. Especially if the review is negative! You want to respond quickly to let other readers know you care.

A negative review that goes unanswered sends a strong signal to other readers that you don’t care or are too busy to be bothered. They’ll assume the complaint raised in the review is still valid since you never said otherwise.

Finally, make sure your company’s website is accessible and interactive so customers will return. Also, consider offering an online newsletter or blog with coupons or other incentives.

For more tips, check out our beginner’s guide to social media marketing.

How to recession-proof your business

Peter Navarro published an article titled Recession-Proofing Your Organization in a Spring edition of the MIT Sloan Management Review.

In this article, Navarro outlines a strategy to anticipate the downturns in the business cycle and steps to take competitive advantage of downturns.

Let’s look at what this means and how you can apply it to your own business.

What is recession-proofing in business?

In business, recession-proofing means changing your business model so that you are not as severely affected by recessions.

For example, some companies might increase their product variety during recessions to take advantage of people who prefer to buy more than one product.

But that’s not the only way you can recession-proof your company.

Among Navarro’s suggestions, trim the workforce and inventories to cut costs when leading into a recession. Then, as the economy expands in good economic times, cherry-pick new hires before your competitors and boost inventory.

There is no need to be an economist to become your own business-cycle forecast; Navarro provides a simple forecasting formula and points you to Moody’s Economy.com website for data.

Moody’s won’t forecast your business’s sales or inventory, but TimeForge’s forecasting system can.

TimeForge’s forecasting system uses historical data to provide additional insight into your business and accurately predict the future. Managers can track actual sales and theoretical projections made by staff members, and projections can be forecast with TimeForge to predict staffing levels and upcoming schedule needs, and are useful for tracking inventory turnover.

Want to apply TimeForge’s sales forecasting to recession-proof your business? Visit TimeForge to sign up for a free trial of the most powerful labor scheduling system on the market!

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