Back to Basics
This piece applies to b2b and b2c businesses.
I think I wrote something similar back on my blog in 2008/9 when the market cratered. I got good feedback on it then, and hopefully, the piece's evolution is helpful to you.
We cannot control the market, and it will do what the market will do. If you can control it, maybe it's for a super short period. A healthy market will go up and down, but if you believe in the economy, the market should increase over the long term. Define long by whatever you want, but I am using a 50+ year horizon.
But today and yesterday, and most likely tomorrow, the market is doing something that we have not seen in a while - declining. Many companies have been trading at high valuations, some that did not make sense, over the past few years.
Now that we've surpassed most stimulus and the realities of a potential post-pandemic society are in our sights, we are starting to witness a sell-off.
Companies that were once super high fliers have traded down in price. Some alternative assets have traded down too.
As business leaders, senior functional leads, and employees of organizations, what do we do when the market seems to be going down…and down?
In short, make sure you've got your basics covered in an environment where everything is hot, and it's hard to miss.
Step back and assess the situation you are in. Does your team have the basics covered?
For instance, when was your team last talking about search engine optimization?
When did your team last talk about marketing yield? When did your team last talk about contribution margin on a per sku basis?
Those are just some examples of what I mean by "back to basics." No regrets decisions you can make - in an up, flat, or down market that will help protect your business and, frankly, you.
Also, know your operating metrics and data. Now, there is no better time to understand your CACs, LTVs, contribution margin, attach rates, channel level ROI, etc. The more you know now, the better your decisions about increasing (or decreasing) investments in your areas such as marketing, digital, e-commerce, etc.
Last, ask your customer service team or engineering team about the last ten trouble tickets submitted. Read them over, and do so each day/week. These are customer pain points. Focus on fixing those pain points. In a down market, customers will rethink every dollar they are spending… do not give your customers a reason to cancel you.