Here's a snapshot of our monthly revenue the past 6 months (October not included in this chart, but the trend continues upward):
When the pandemic hit, and everything went into lockdown, we all knew things could get bad. Health was the obvious first concern, and then the secondary concern quickly became financial.
(I published a post on March 30th about embracing the recession, you can read that here.)
The first thing I did was reach out to our marketing clients at JumpX Marketing. Not to try to convince them of anything, but to just see how they were feeling. I got mixed responses.
Some were worried beyond repair about their businesses.
Others were strangely optimistic.
Personally, I thrive when my back is against the wall, and that's why I love running a client business.
Within the first couple of weeks, JumpX lost 50% of revenue from clients prematurely trying to save money before they realized what was about to happen in the online space.
You read that correctly; 50% of all revenue.
On one hand, I don't judge any business owner for cutting costs during a time of vast uncertainty.
On the other hand, it sucked for my company.
Because we do email marketing for ecommerce businesses, the clients that stuck with us have seen nothing but growth. Ecommerce has exploded since everyone has been forced to spend more time at home.
One of the many reasons I love running a client business is because it's highly adaptable, and adaptability is the key to long-term sustainability.
We were able to quickly assess what was going on in our industry, and create new services, new packages, and new price points that allowed us to recover and even grow during this difficult season rather than shrink.
This isn't a situation that is unique to my business. Almost any kind of client business has the opportunity to be "recession proof".
- 9-5 you get fired, $0.
- Client business you get fired by 1 client, you have more, and you can replace them quickly.
I think of client businesses as having multiple streams of income because each client is an independent stream.
All of that being said, I actually don't think I did anything particularly smart or fancy to help JumpX grow during this time. Yes, I created some new service options to match the climate, and yes I worked hard at reaching out to people for referrals and getting leads in the pipeline. But that's just normal stuff.
What seemed to set us up for success is the model of business itself. Client work is adaptable work.
If I boil it down to some takeaways for growing a client business during difficult economic times, the most important things seem to be:
Adapt and keep going.