Five ways to grow revenue during times of inflation
Inflation has just increased for the third time this year, and the current inflation rates are at a historic high right now that hasn’t been seen since 1981. The international COVID-19 pandemic changed the economic landscape in several ways. While increasing revenues regularly is always a priority for startup organizations, small businesses, and major corporations alike, it isn’t always an easy feat to accomplish amidst an inflationary period. That being said, there are a few strategies and techniques that can help a startup organization or small business actualize an increase in growth even during an inflationary period. Or, at the very least, these tactics can help an organization mitigate some of the losses that an inflationary period might bring with.
When it comes to growing revenue, some of the strategies that are most effective in the modern marketplace are going to continue to be relied upon even in the face of inflation.
“The way inflation affects an individual business depends on its unique economic circumstances: what industry it’s in, how its particular costs are rising (or falling), the productivity of its workforce, the nature of its supply chain, the level and type of its debt (if any) and so on. As a result, generalized inflation advice for small businesses can seem confusing and contradictory. But knowing how to really prepare and adapt your business to inflationary trends can be a boon. Smart choices can help a business not only weather inflation but come through it stronger.”
– Fritz Nelson, Editor in Chief, Oracle –
1. Prioritize Online Sales
Over the past few years, the online, virtual, and digital marketplaces have become much more important. Not only are more and more consumers visiting these markets and conducting transactions across them, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more products and services became available online and through digital means. This was a cyclical effect which only further fed into how many transactions were happening over a virtual marketplace of one sort or another. Eventually, this resulted in the booming digital marketplaces that exist today and continue to serve a majority of the population.
Now, even in the middle of the hyper competitive marketplace that’s dealing with an extremely high inflationary period, online sales need to be prioritized by modern businesses who want to stay relevant and competitive among consumers in today’s day and age. This is partially because there are a wide series of benefits that online sales offer both brands and consumers alike.
“Anyone owning and operating a business in 2022 knows the importance of the online marketplace. For the past couple years, online sales were the only sales that were available because of the pandemic. Even though things are opening back up, I don’t think we’ll ever see as significant a drop in online transactions as we saw a rise over the past couple of years.”
– Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer, Paradigm Peptides –
One of the benefits that consumers reap from online sales is the convenience of having their products delivered directly to their doorstep. This makes it super easy for busy consumers to get groceries, have home-office-furniture delivered or any number of other products that they can imagine. Even if it’s Friday night and there’s no more wine, that can be delivered too.
“There’s no doubting the convenience factor. With how many products and services are available online, it doesn’t always make sense to shop in-person. Besides, on the brand side of things, this can help you save on overhead.”
– Steven Vigilante, Head of New Business Development, OLIPOP –
2. Reduce Overhead
Reducing overhead is another great way to help boost your revenue during an inflationary period. There are several ways that companies and brands are able to reduce overhead. Which strategy will be most suitable for reducing overhead can greatly depend on the industry, the type and size of the organization, and a variety of other factors that determine business operations. In some instances, an organization may be able to save a significant amount of overhead by transitioning to an entirely remote model.
“Especially for small business owners, it can make a lot of sense to take their business model 100% remote. They can save on storage costs, and a variety of other expenses that make their revenue go further.”
– Chris Gadek, Head of Growth, AdQuick –
Transitioning to an entirely remote model simply won’t work for some organizations and brands, though. In these cases, leadership will have to get more creative with overhead reduction strategies that proactively maintain the staff while also boosting revenues.
“Your people are your most valuable asset, so that shouldn’t be an option when it comes to reducing overhead. It’s a very last-resort strategy. Business owners should get creative and think outside the box before losing any team members.”
– Dan Potter, Head of Digital, CRAFTD London –
3. Explore new Products or Services
Another good way to combat revenue loss during an inflationary period is to bring a new product or service to your shelves, even if they’re digital. This can be a good way to excite new potential customers while also reconnecting with existing consumers that already love your brand.
“Bringing a complimentary product or service to market is a good way to entice new consumers and existing consumers at the same time. The new consumers might be convinced to buy the previous matching product in addition to the new release, while existing customers won’t want to miss out on the new product either.”
– Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO, OSDB Sports –
The tricky thing to look out for when adding a new product or service to your list of offerings is the expenses involved in bringing it to market. The goal is to bring the product or service to market at a rate that will be attractive to consumers while still adding to your revenue.
“There’s a lot to consider in product research and development. Not every project is a success, and deciding which to bring to market is a bit of an art.”
– Sean Doherty, General Manager, Box Genie –
4. Expand Marketing Campaigns
In the same vein as taking a new product or service to market, you may decide to instead just expand existing marketing campaigns. This could involve any number of strategies, but an easy strategy to implement is building additional target demographics. Simply revisit the existing campaigns and evaluate if they’re truly targeting every relevant consumer segment. Even if you only add one or two segments to each of your marketing campaigns, that could result in a flurry of additional activity.
“Marketing campaigns are still important to run in the face of an inflationary period. You just have to be a little bit more strategic with how and where you run them in order to get as many eyes as possible on them.”
– Cody Candee, Founder and CEO, Bounce Luggage Storage –
Another way to expand marketing campaigns is to look at the channels over which your current campaigns are running. If you’re not utilizing social media channels, like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, your brand might just be missing out on entire pools of consumers that would be interested in your products and services. Plus, there are many ways that organizations can use these social networking sites for free.
“There’s always a new community to be found on social networks. That’s why we’ve sunk so much time and so many resources into our social strategies over the past decade or so, and will continue to do so moving forward. There are always new customers to be found on social networks.”
– Justin Olson, Chief Marketing Officer, Fast Pace Health –
5. Run Promos and Sales
Although it might sound like a sales strategy for any time period at all, not just a period of inflation, running promotions and sales is always an excellent way to encourage new and existing consumers alike to engage with your brand, products, or services. The fact that they’re getting a deal will encourage many of your consumers to make multiple transactions. In turn, this increases your overall revenue, and helps further expand your brand visibility.
“Promos and sales are always a good call, almost no matter what you’re trying to sell or when you’re trying to sell it. They get people motivated and excited to engage with your product. Always look for a new reason to help your customers save money.”
– Chandler Rogers, CEO, Relay App –
Running regular sales and promotions will also give your brand a good reputation among consumers who are budget conscious and shopping during such volatile economic times.
“Everyone loves a deal. It just feels good to know that you’re saving a little bit of money. It also makes you feel less guilty about spending on yourself in trying times.”
– Serdar Ozenalp, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Ocoza –
A few Final Thoughts
Increasing revenue is always a thought on the mind of business owners, entrepreneurs, and other organizational leaders. During an inflationary period, though, this can be a difficult task. Try working on some of the tactics listed above and see if they can’t improve your organization’s revenue through hard inflationary periods like the one we’re in right now.
“Managing a business in such a testing situation is a tough job. The best thing you can do is to be cautious and aware of both threats and opportunities.”
– Lisa Sicard, Owner, Inspire to Thrive –