Earlier this fall, I started thinking about a potential recession as we've had 10+ solid years in our economy. Thankfully, I have experience with the devastating recession of 2008. Now that I run a team of 15+ people, I have way more responsibility than ever before to do my job bringing in the income necessary to stay afloat.
At first, I thought this recession would happen gradually and take about one year to start feeling its effects.
Have you noticed the hysteria over this virus? (This is the part where we pretend to be shocked but then laugh hysterically together…) The TP shortage alone makes me roll my eyes but what I'm really watching is how the big companies are responding and the stock market. Things are going down.
This is why President Trump is saying things like, “Nothing is shut down. Life and the economy go on.”
Every airline I fly has sent messages out encouraging people to fly and keep traveling. Pricing for airfare has been dropped. Travel industries are always the first to get hit.
Folks…a recession is here. This is the beginning.
In 2008, jobs were scarce. My husband was in the land development sector. He was one out of two men standing in 2009. His last day of work was the day my third son was born. The year before his last day was rough. I watched him go through the pain of laying off his entire team and then find that his closest friend at work was the only person left to lay him off.
How did we prepare for the inevitable? We saved money, created a stash of food, and slashed our budget like crazy. Chewing gum was a “want” not a need.
My tutoring business back then only lost a few students. There are families out there that will have the cushion to continue working with you.
What are you doing to get ready?
It's time for you to think about how you can set yourself up to survive but really…how can you thrive during this time? Some of the most significant transfers of wealth in the United States happen during a recession.
Most people will respond to a recession by slashing their expenses. Companies will respond by slashing expenses as well aka, layoffs.
During this time, I want to challenge you to keep your thoughts in check and keep fighting to stay in this game. If you try to make the leap to going back into the classroom, you'll find high competition like I did in 2009. There were very little teaching jobs and they often went to men. I tried my hand at substitute teaching as well. The orientation had hundreds of people in it. I got to substitute teach once in 2009.
Get comfortable with the idea that most will pull back, but I encourage you to lean in and keep going. Find a mantra to keep you focused and growing.
Mine is, “I will dominate this space by taking advantage of this economic climate to keep spreading my message of multisensory math. I'm leaning in all the way. I will grow and expand during this time.”
There will be people who have the padding to survive and thrive during the recession. There will be families who can afford your services during this time. This recession will not affect them because they are insulated financially.
1. Pivot/Adjust Who You Work With
Focus your marketing efforts on families who can afford your services. Think about families doing private schooling. Most likely, they have the cushion to afford your services. There are many families who choose private schools because their child has a learning difference but often discover that the private school does not have the correct training to serve their child. They need your specialty.
Who else can afford your services? Get creative. I can't answer this question for each of you. Everyone teaches different subjects and has slightly different markets. Think on this and watch for patterns. Be willing to pivot.
2. Create New Offers
As a team, we're prepping to create more group classes and courses to meet the needs of diverse spenders in the market. Even though we plan to go after those who can afford us, we know there will be a large segment of people that won't be able to afford us but recognize that they'll still need services in some shape or form for their child. We plan to create new group classes with different structures that we're testing this summer. All of this in preparation for recession proofing our business.
3. Pay for Advertising
Companies will also cut spending on advertising so paying for eyeballs on your items will be at an all time low! I plan to spend more on Facebook ads and even dabble in other types of traditional marketing because the cost to get eyeballs will be super low.
4. Offer Online Tutoring
Finally, I'd like to encourage you all to consider adding some form of online tutoring to your business. This is where the market is heading. If you don't have it, I truly believe you will get left behind in the marketplace. Families are tired of sitting in traffic for tutoring and extracurricular. You being online is a godsend to many families.
During this time, stretch yourself to learn how to tutor online with students. It can be effective if done right! COVID-19 makes this a great time to encourage families to try it out. Tap into that tiny bit of fear to have them try working online. Families may just switch over to online and stop coming to see you in person.
Alright friends, I hope I didn't cause you alarm. I know my brain could not let go of this thought. Writing this message to you today is helping me to stop focusing on the fear and kick my rear into action.
Learn how to tutor online using my Profitable Tutor Framework. It now has a short module all about getting started.