Sayburn is the co-founder and CEO of marketing agency matchmaker Studiospace.
The company connects independent businesses with major brands such as Aviva, Jaguar Land Rover and AXA.
The founder and CEO of marketing agency matchmaker Studiospace says recessions can be an opportunity for business owners.
Gaining top quality talent, entering new markets and over-delivering for your customers are just some of the ways leaders can build during this crisis, according to serial entrepreneur Pete Sayburn.
“Entrepreneurs often spot opportunities that go against the run of play and exploit chances to grow when others are feeling risk averse and want to hunker down. Recessions are, in fact, an opportunity to win and many successful businesses are founded in downturns.
“We founded Market Gravity, an innovation agency, in 2009, in the middle of the biggest economic crisis of the century. And now, here we are again, with our new company, Studiospace, founded during Covid 19 pandemic and, now, another recession.
“My advice to entrepreneurs is to focus on growth areas in your core business. Some sectors will stall but others will grow. For example, in 2009, the banking sector stopped investing, so we focused on the utilities sector, which wanted support with investments into renewable energy.
“Keep investing in your customer base and your team – these are the last places to cut back on. We hired some exceptional talent during the recession. People who might not have been willing to move in another situation. A lot of talented people become available during recessions.
“Reduce low priority spending. Business owners should take a hard look at their expenses including buildings, travel and some team activities, and find enterprising ways to cut costs. There are lots of ways to cut everyday costs, such as borrowing meeting rooms and negotiating new rates from service providers.
“Hustle – if you lose one customer, channel that frustration into winning the next one. Get the whole team excited about winning repeat business from existing customers, knowing that they’re having a big impact on the future success of the company.
“Stay positive – even when you feel the odds are stacked against you, keep up the energy and optimism. We were able to ride out the storm by painting a compelling vision for their future for customers and team members.
“Over-deliver for existing customers – if you have excess capacity or stock due to lower demand, then invest in your customers by doing more for the same money. It will pay back dividends in the long-term and it doesn’t even have to cost more.”