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‘You have to keep investing throughout the bad times’

During a recession when money is tight and every penny counts, withdrawing investment in certain areas can seem like a quick and obvious fix.

But it’s exactly the wrong move to make - and might actually put your business at greater risk.

As perverse as it sounds, you have to keep investing throughout the bad times to ensure you’re ready to fire on all cylinders when the good times return.

But use your funds wisely and prioritise where your money goes. In any consumer-facing business, people are key.

They’re the ones delivering your product. They’ll get you ready again for growth. So continue to hire well and punch above your weight, both in the quality and quantity of your team.

Of course, keep investing in your product. Make sure it’s stronger and more focused than ever - in leaner times it will need to be. When conditions improve, you’ll be in a much better position to forge ahead.

And finally, don’t forget about brand identity. It’s easy to let this one slip and think you’ve got away with it. You might do once, but leave it twice and you’ll suddenly look outdated. Why play catch up when you can be leading the field?

  • Libby Gibson, Partner at consumer brands specialist Piper Private Equity

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