a sign reading recession ahead with two arrows representing and increase and a decrease in profit

A Recession-Proof Way to Position Your Business to Thrive

The last few years have been incredibly interesting for the New Zealand economy, from the pandemic and following lockdowns to the natural disasters and war that have contributed to the rising cost of living. In the face of adversity, we’ve had to be resilient, innovative, flexible, and compassionate.

New Zealand has officially entered a recession, and for the past several months the news has been full of stories about how we need to be tightening our belts and getting prepared. While it’s nice to be prepared, ‘recession’ is a scary word that has been thrown around a lot.

A recession is defined as a period of temporary economic decline, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters, ours being last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. Usually, it’s caused by a drop in spending both by individuals and businesses, causing unemployment to rise and businesses to struggle.

The natural response to this is for businesses is to cut back and hunker down to try and outlast the financial storm that is being predicted – and marketing is often one of the first areas where costs are cut.

Marketing your business during a recession is a delicate balance; you need to cut costs to stay afloat, but you still need customers coming in. How can you ensure you’re still getting business?

There are many ways to attract new business. In our opinion, attending business networking groups is a recession-proof way to market your business. Here’s why:


Technically, you can network anywhere, at any time, for no cost. If you’re so inclined, you could just start up a conversation with people you meet in your day-to-day life – on public transport, in a café, and just out and about. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, there are many organisations that hold free networking events, you just need to keep an eye out for them. Online directories like Eventfinda and Eventbrite are a good place to start looking for free events in your area.

As for paid business networking groups, they can be more affordable than other forms of marketing (depending on your overall budget) and may deliver a stronger return on investment.

Even the most experienced marketer can’t give you a 100% guarantee on the return on investment you can expect from your marketing efforts. And in a recession, marketing results become even harder to predict.

If you’ve been spending thousands on broadcast advertising, or hundreds on social media, step back and review performance before you start trimming costs. Which platforms are delivering your best leads, and do those platforms offer the same additional benefits as in-person networking?


Networking is the most personal form of marketing. While your Reach (the number of people you get your business in front of) will be smaller than an average boosted Facebook post, it’s likely that you will have far better Engagement. Because, let’s be honest, it’s more engaging to be in a room of people who are all talking on the same level than it is to see something while you’re doomscrolling on social media. When you visit your weekly networking group, you have a captive audience for that hour (or more, depending on the group) so it is much easier to build engaged relationships.

The regularity of meetings is also key here. Rather than running promotions every now and then, you can regularly meet with people to keep build those authentic relationships. You can capture people at all stages of the buying process, from those that have no need for your products or services right now (but might in the future), to those that desperately need them. And you can move them through the buying process with ease! This means that you can follow up with people you’ve met in an authentic and natural way, none of this constant chasing. And you get to continue the relationship even once they’ve purchased from you.

Brand Awareness

As mentioned above, the reach of a networking group is much smaller than that of paid advertising. But keep in mind that while you’re connecting with the people in the room, you also have the potential to connect with ALL the people they know that might need you.

Because you have the opportunity to build strong relationships and present your expertise in a natural way, your networking connections are far more likely to recommend you to others. People love to connect and help each other out.

Business Support

Have you ever received business advice, support, or survival strategies from running a Facebook ad? Probably not – but those are all things you can find at your networking group.

Being in a recession can be hard and scary. Business networking groups really come into their own when times are tough. Because of all the authentic relationships between members, everyone is keen to use their skills to help others. You might find an accountant who is happy to share tips on where to cut back, a marketer who can help you get more out of your budget, or a business coach who can provide some tips to support your emotional wellbeing.

Business networking really is the whole package – a place where you can advertise, learn better business practices, work on your personal development, and find support.

Need some extra support during this time?
Contact us to find a networking group near you.

Want to give networking a try?

Contact us

Fill out the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.