I’ve had clients asking me some variation of this question lately, “Do you think there will be a recession?” and “What should I do to prepare?”
I can’t necessarily answer the first question because I’m not an economist. Some experts say we may be experiencing a recession in the early parts of 2023, others are saying that there may be a slight slowdown but that we’ll avoid a recession altogether.
What I do know is a lot of people (ahem, mostly the media and your Debby Downer mother-in-law) fear-mongering you into believing the world is basically going to go into a deep depression (spoiler: it’s not).
Oh, and also spammers. Can you believe this email made it through my spam filter?!?
What an awful scammer using fear tactics to plant a seed. And oh, how convenient, they happen to have the exact answer that will save you!
What NOT To Do During a Recession
Sarcasm aside, here’s what I do know: In 2020 when the pandemic hit, many people and businesses felt completely blind-sided and unprepared, which ensued in panic-based decision-making.
If you’ve been around here for a little while, you know how much I’m always emphasizing making decisions with intention and purpose instead of from a place of panic. Been there, done that. 15 years as an entrepreneur, 3 businesses deep, have worked closely with hundreds of beauty and wellness clients, and trust me when I say panic decisions never get you anywhere.
How to Prepare Your Brand for Any Type of Economic Shake-Up
Regardless of what ultimately happens, it’s always a good rule of thumb to have a plan in place to ensure your business weathers even the slightest of storms without much-noticed effect.
During the pandemic years, I was privy to be intimately involved with many beauty businesses, big and small, so you can say I’ve amassed a toolbox of strategies that can help you feel prepared and confident that whatever comes your way, you got this and your business will thrive.
The brands that are triumphant after all, recession or not, are the brands that continue to show up even during times of uncertainty.
Idleness is not the answer. Action is the anti-virus to fear.
So let’s just get this freezing-up-stewing-in-worry thing out of the way, shall we?
4 Strategies for Keeping Your Beauty Business Profitable
1. Invest in customer relationships
Focus on serving your repeat customers to the highest degree. Think of ways you can surprise and delight your repeat customers with extra gifts, exclusive offers, sampling, or even just a hand-written letter or card. Now’s definitely the time to also ensure you have a post-purchase email sequence to retain reviews, user-generated content, and repeat buys. (If you haven’t yet, check out The Beauty Brand Launch Method for this).
Send them a personal email, a DM, a voice or video note letting them know how much you appreciate their business, check in on how they’re doing with their products, and see if they need replenishment. Now may not be the best time to go wide (ex. throwing $$$ at ads to acquire new customers), but it’s definitely always a great time to be going deep.
Bonus? Loyal and happy customers help you spread word-of-mouth organically with their friends and family, which results in new sales for a much lower acquisition cost.
2. Create multiple streams of revenue
If you’re on Etsy, diversify and add wholesale as a second revenue stream. If you’re primarily doing craft shows, start optimizing your e-commerce platform. If you’re in multiple retail doors, also get on Amazon. If you’re a licensed professional like a makeup artist, esthetician, or herbalist, add consultations, trainings, or programs to your offerings. You get the drift. Don’t get stuck putting all your eggs into one basket.
Be flexible and scrappy.
3. Get out of the weeds
I often see business owners stay in the weeds of their business for far too long, believing that only they can do a task best or that they’re not ready to hire additional support yet. The result? Slow growth because time is finite, and there are only so many hours of the day that you can get things done.
And when you’re working on filling, packing, and shipping your products what don’t you then have as much time for? Business development. To put it simply, biz dev = $$$. The more money you have in your business, the larger you can build an emergency fund.
How can you hold the vision of your company and steer the ship forward if you’re looking down the whole time packing boxes?
Harsh? Maybe, but staying in the weeds means you don’t have the capacity to see opportunities for growth and to pivot, which are critical in a time of uncertainty.
4. Invest in an accelerator
Despite this rough economic time, the skincare industry is still growing. In 2021, the NPD Group shared their findings that skincare sales increased by nearly 18% while prestige makeup sales went up 22%. So while it may be a challenge, there are ways you can position your brand to stand out and make your business consistently profitable.
One solution is through investing in an accelerator program that offers mentorship and tried and tested blueprints that will help you build systems and processes that can help your business scale and weather any storm. My signature program, Conventional to Cult Status™, is the only brand strategy program for beauty companies that actually offers the inside scoop on the exact blueprint for reaching your ideal audience from inside the beauty industry.
There’s never been a more important moment to learn the strategies that set your brand apart from the saturated market. But don’t just take my word for it- discover the major takeaways from some recent C2C grads.
Doors are opening soon. Join the C2C waitlist here if you’re ready to learn to differentiate your brand through positioning and messaging in order to grab the attention of media, influencers, and retailers and turn your ideal customers into evangelists for life.
While the rest of the world may be reacting with fear, you are an entrepreneur, a visionary. Now is your time to shine. Your audience is looking to you to lead, to inspire, and to show up if times get hard.