Survival Tips for Small Businesses in times of recession

. 6 min read
Survival Tips for Small Businesses in times of recession

You're flying high one day, making profits and acquiring more customers, and you're speeding downhill the next. If it is triggered by a global crisis, an unwelcome recession, or a new, commanding competitor, it takes more than a winner's mentality of never-say-die and steely resilience to survive such tough times. And how do you guarantee that when all is lost, your company survives? Studying small businesses will teach you several important managerial and survival tactics.

For you to make good decisions, you must define your objectives clearly. . As a company owner, you will be required to make countless decisions daily.  Gathering all relevant information before making a decision can prove useful. Some tips that will help small companies tide over a recession are given below.

1. Take reasonable action

A downward business trend can start tiny, but it may not take long for things to get worse. When you can sense challenges ahead, don't put your hands up in frustration. Detected early, you can take timely action and avoid potential problems. The most crucial part is to tackle the problems that lie ahead with confidence.

2. Maintain capital accessibility

Since cash flow is the backbone of every business, during tough times, you should either ensure that you have quick access to credit or have alternate methods of raising funds when needed. It is smart to visit the bank and avail yourself of credit facilities, just in case you need funds to manage short-term cash flow problems. Small businesses should either be mindful of all available capital options or at least consider what is needed to secure a loan.

3. Invest in your business

One of the easiest ways to endure difficult times is to create more value so that when things tend to change again, you are ready to get back up on your feet. Begin working on the things that you postponed due to a lack of time and other resources, or because you have been too busy solving problems. Train your staff, update your website, improve your customer service protocols. By transitioning to low-budget campaign strategies like public speaking, internet marketing, and other creative networking techniques, you can even use the opportunity to save funds on promotion costs.

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4. Hold existing customers

Retaining your customers will help you withstand and overcome difficult times. These customers should be your number one concern even when new acquisitions and sales are down since now more than ever your competitors will target them. You should connect and interact with them to ensure that you are still meeting their requirements and serving them well. This is also the time to understand their preferences better and analyse why they originally wanted your company, and what can stop them from returning.

It is hard to guess when or what would cause a crisis to unfold. But there are some typical signs of an economy approaching recession. Here are several ways to determine how the company might be impacted by a crisis and how to tackle it.

5. Assess the stability of the company

Consumer spending and available liquidity will also decrease in the months leading up to a recession, which can force an organisation to experience a pinch in its finances.

This suggests that some tough choices about retail prices, campaign execution, training, incentives, or even new releases will have to be made. While each company will undergo a recession in distinctive ways, the most common areas that affect all firms  are:

  • Not enough money to pay the staff: Companies can find themselves in a situation where paying their employees as well as retaining all of them becomes difficult.
  • Decreased morale and efficiency of workers: Frequent dismissals and expecting the staff to work for less add to the existing apprehension. When workers feel uncertain and unmotivated by negative news, morale will suffer.

Data is the perfect way to face these problems head-on. And when they demonstrate that your market could be failing, it is important to consider what metrics say about your day-to-day operations.

6. Implement  changes

Now that you have identified the problem areas, it is time to make improvements. This may involve:

  • Reshaping your workforce or restructuring the corporate map
  • Evaluating goods and services to ensure that the consumers continue to meet business requirements
  • Readjustment of benchmarks and expected performance goals

Not every problem can be solved at once. Prioritise problems and tackle the ones that will affect sales, customer relations, and the bottom line.

7. Maximise the potential you have

Think about how you can leverage the departments you currently have in place when the crisis limits your ability to finance your activities and pay your staff well. This may involve:

  • Supporting and reassuring your current representatives and workers
  • Recognising, encouraging, and relying on previously undiscovered talent to step up

8. Address your employees' requirements

A recession is tough for everyone, and while it can harm productivity, you need your workforce to be more effective and successful than ever before.

  • By recognising the personal needs of your employee, you can accomplish this.
  • Listen to your staff members. If you feel occupational recession-induced stress, your workers may also be struggling at home with financial, emotional, or interpersonal issues.
  • Throughout a recession, this is more critical than ever, especially with workers taking on extra duty.

Recessions are inevitable, so if you prepare accordingly, the company will thrive and grow better. Your organisation would be prepared to withstand an adverse economic climate if you follow these tactics.

  • Assess the safety of your company annually.
  • Readjust the goods and the resources available when appropriate.
  • Build a lean, successful squad and reassure them that you respect them.
  • Listen to the wishes of the staff, and they will put their best foot forward.
  • Always believe that there is scope for improvement and work accordingly.
a women is working at laptop and display showing small business word at office desk


National and regional economic factors impact your market and your business. Also, factors such as interest rates, inflation, gross domestic product, market costs, and consumer trust have a strong effect on the performance and relationships with manufacturers, consumers, and even workers.

While financial crises are admittedly difficult to overcome and increase the barriers faced by small businesses attempting to survive and grow, it is not axiomatic for businesses to cut profits and reduce market share. Companies that take too long to consider what needs to be done or reject reforms are bound to face problems. Resourceful entrepreneurs capture the resources available and take solid measures to pave the foundation for tomorrow's success today.

Also read:

1) Best Tips for Customer Retention for a Small Business
2) Tips to Understand Your Market while Starting a Small Business
3) Tips for Businesses to Overcome the Covid Blues - Revival Tips for Businesses
4) What are the keys to success when operating a small scale business?


Q. How will your small company withstand the recession?

Ans. Negotiate better rates or short-term discounts with manufacturers, vendors, and landlords and suggest exchanging goods and services on a credit barter exchange system instead of currency. Take advantage of retailer discounts for billing, and before they are due, do not issue checks for no-discount bills.

Q. During a recession, is it wise to start a small business?

Ans. Yes, throughout a recession, you can always start a small company. In a tough economy, some small enterprises still prosper. It is a trial by fire to launch any small company during a recession, but if you really can survive, you can prosper as the economy improves.

Q. How do you survive an economic recession?

Ans. 5 tips for saving money during a recession

  • Save money for  emergencies
  • Set up a budget to repay your debts
  • Downsize to a more frugal way of living
  • Diversify your profits
  • Diversify your savings