Be proactive - economizing your business in tough times.
easy to sit back and bemoan the economy and other external factors that
may be causing your business to slow down. Among the many reasons
discussed in recent news:
- People don't want to spend gas to get to your business and are looking for alternative ways to receive your product.
- People are on a recession diet and spending less.
- People are waiting to see what will happen next before they spend their money.
- Others are borrowing for living expenses so they don't have money for what I am selling.
can you do to give people the perception that your product or service
is a "must buy" in tough economic conditions? Consider the following
tips to help "recession proof" your business in today's challenging
1. Consumer research.
Do you know
why people buy what you're selling? If you don't know, take a poll and
ask your current customers why they buy from you. Use that information
to create more value, put money in ads that emphasize that value. The
sooner you figure this out, the faster you'll be able to capitalize on
this concept and make more money.
2. Cash flow is king
Track it, analyze it and project it. Without it, your business will
come to a screeching halt very fast. The best laid business plans and
products are worthless if you can't pay employees and vendors in order
to carry out the basic operations of the company.
3. Cultivate a sense of urgency.
Making your service business recession proof requires a proactive &
creative approach. A recession proof company is flexible and creates
opportunities where others see only doom and gloom.
4. Focus on the 20% of your clients that deliver 80% of your profits.
Do you know who those 20% are? A recession proof company understands its cost drivers.
5. Leverage hidden value with your existing customers.
Offer outstanding customer service. Satisfied customers not only buy
more, they recommend. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool.
When did you last ask your customers if their needs are being met?
6. Build a psychological barrier to exit.
Be more aggressive with your marketing. How powerful is your brand
image? Peace of mind is a strong disincentive to experiment with
7. Exploit the internet
Integrate the web into your marketing mix. Create a forum or user
group. Email newsletters and blogs are powerful marketing tools &
very cost effective.
8. Don't stop marketing.
First and foremost, don't stop marketing. You may need to become a
little more careful with your precious dollars, but keep your business
name out there. Volunteering your time with others or towards a greater
cause is a very affordable marketing strategy and networking method.
9. Opportunity with offers.
Many times in small business, we don't take advantage of travel offers
(that is, points that one can earn) on business associations, clubs,
VIP memberships etc. If you haven't previously done this and your work
includes travel, look into this. It's a great way to extend your travel
dollars a little more.
10. Caution with credit.
Above all, business owners must keep their personal credit ratings
high, since business borrowing often depends on personal credit,
especially in the small business universe. Watch your spending and
don't give the bank a reason to charge you more money by being late on
payments, says Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management