5 Tips to Grow Your Business in a Recession
Keeping your small business immune in a recession is not an impossibility.
Creating a business that thrives in the bad times as well as the good times will make a business immune to the ups and downs of the economy.
Your Small Business Can Grow During a Recession
Here are 5 Economy Immunisation tips you can implement immediately to give your business a kick right where it is most needed:
1. Throw a “fence” around your customers and clients. Customer loyalty is much rarer these days, but it does not stop you from hanging onto them and preventing them from going to your competitors. If you are clever, you can lock your customers into your business without your them knowing about your competition.
How can I do this, I hear you say?
By communicating with them regularly and often, giving them interesting, informative and useful information and NOT just asking them to buy your products or services.
You should email them at least once a week, and preferably even more often. Create a free newsletter, offering them useful information, hints and tips, keep them up to date with the services and products that you offer and any special offers.
The thing is, your customers will buy when they are ready and not when you think they are ready to buy. So the most effective thing you can do is keep yourself in their view so when they DO decide to buy, they immediately think of YOU and not your competitors.
2. Increase the value of what you offer to your customers and clients. It’s not about price; it’s about value!
If customers and clients object to your prices, it’s not because they do not want your products and services: it is because they cannot see the VALUE you are offering.
In a down turn economy, most business owners cut their prices because this objection arises more and more often. But that is NOT the answer. You are much better to INCREASE the value of your offerings.
One of the best ways to do this is by offering an amazing guarantee to remove the risk inherent in the transaction; and second method is by increasing your levels of service. Customer “satisfaction” and even “delight” is no longer enough. You need to be thinking in terms of “customer amazement”, “customer astonishment” and “customer bliss”.
3. Get great at marketing! No matter what business you are in, your REAL business is in the “marketing of the business” business.
Marketing is not about selling. Marketing is really about allowing other people to see the value your offer represents. Yes, selling, as in “sales” is important, but it is the marketing that gets them to the point where the sales person can do his or her job.
And if you get your marketing right, and you get great at demonstrating the value you offer, your business will be bullet- and recession-proof.
4. Cut the cost of your advertising in half while making more money from it. Right now is a great time to test some advertising. Often, small business advertising does not work and can be an expensive and depressing lesson.
However, when it DOES work, it is incredibly profitable, now costs are coming down (because almost all businesses are cutting their advertising budgets – and that includes your competitors), it is a perfect time to start trying it out for your business.
If you are clever, you can make your advertising four times more profitable by halving the amount you pay for it and doubling its effectiveness. Remember, many small businesses (including your competition) either cut completley or reduce their advertising, leaving it open for you.
As it IS so much cheaper at the moment, you can afford to test and see what works with much less risk than ever before. A BIG tip when it comes to paying for advertising space, and that is not to pay what is asked for! Offer half the price! Many ad sales are having trouble selling ad space, and when it gets near their cut-off time you can get some real bargains. You just need to be confident and say NO if you think it is too much!
Most importantly, due to the way advertising works, if you create an advertising strategy which works now, then it is going to work even better when we come out the other side of the recession.
5. Become the expert in your industry. Right now, people are afraid. They are confused, nervous and apprehensive about the future. This includes your prospects, customers, and clients.
And at times like this, they want reassurance, strong and confident leadership, and someone they can believe in and trust.
If you can position yourself in that role, you will have customers and clients for life. Let your competitors join the fearful throng and lose their businesses. You can take this opportunity to establish yourself as a business leader and thus practically guarantee your status as the “go to guy” or “go to gal” in your industry.
First, get yourself some FREE PR. Press releases are the fastest, easiest, cheapest, and BEST way to do this. Remember the media professionals are crying out for good material to fill their papers, magazines, and radio & TV shows.
Secondly, join toastmasters and other organisations where you get to speak in front of audiences as an expert in your field. Yes, I know public speaking is scarier than actually dying for some people, but there’s no doubt it is a great way to promote your business with your calm, confident and strong message.
And thirdly, consider writing a book, or at least getting yourself a regular engagement writing editorial content for a local newspaper. They are desperate for quality content, even more so now their advertising revenues are down and their costs remain high.
Take these simple steps and you’ll be well on the way to ensuring that you – and not the economy controls your financial future
Original article by Chris Cardell