The challenge of operating in a down economy
Running your own business is never easy. When you add a struggling economy to that equation, it makes it even harder. In a recession, both consumers and businesses pull back financially. They are more cautious with their disposable incomes and budgets. This means that businesses have to work harder to survive and thrive. Essentially, consumers have become selective to which companies earn their precious hard-earned money, and we don’t blame them. With so much professional competition these days, it’s important that you stand out and get noticed. Here are seven ways to increase your profits in a struggling economy.
Local Outreach – There has been an increased focus on purchasing from local companies versus national or international ones. Use this to your advantage. Reach out to your local community and let them know you can use their support. Encourage personal and professional connections and be an active participant in your community.
It Had Better Be Worth the Money – Because money is tight for the masses in the current economy, your product or service better be worth the cost. People throughout the country are struggling to meet financial obligations. People have lost their homes, their cars, and their jobs. If they will spend money with your company, they want to know that it’s worth it, even if you’re selling a two-dollar cone of ice cream. Every dollar counts in this economy, so make sure your company reflects that.
Focus on Growing Sales Rather Than on Cutting Costs – While there are many schools of thought on how to run a business in a downturned economy, one is that you should focus on increasing growth rather than cutting back on costs. If you cut costs, you could lose business. If you lose business, you lose profit. So, continue your marketing efforts for as long as possible or find ways to cut marketing costs without losing your outreach.
Capture a New Audience through Popular Sites – If your business is struggling along with the economy, it may be time to try to capture a new audience. Because everyone is looking for a great deal these days, using sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, or DailyDeals can bring a whole new group of people through your front doors. And if they like what you offer, they’ll be back for more.
Return to the Basics – Some companies can get too caught up in new marketing trends. While these have an important place in your marketing arsenal, it may be time to consider returning to the basics. There’s always lead generation, cold calling, or just dropping in to local businesses and saying hello. If you can combine the basics with modern techniques, you’ll be sure to cover all of your bases.
Prepare for the Unexpected – Your company, the market, and your consumer base can change in a moment’s notice. Nothing is certain in today’s struggling economy. So, prepare for the unexpected. Prepare for the loss of your clients or customers by continually marketing yourself and reaching out. Always have a backup plan. Even if you never have to use Plan B, it can put your mind at ease so you can focus on the task at hand.
Adapt, Adapt, Adapt – Fighting against the economy isn’t the way to own and operate a successful business. You have to adapt as the circumstances dictate. Don’t think of it as being held back by current financial and economic restraints. Instead, understand that you can use current factors to your advantage. Accept the current situation and adapt to best fit into it.
Just because the economy is struggling doesn’t mean you have to. Identify your company’s strengths and put them to good use. Use them to your advantage by enticing a new audience, retaining your current customers, and making a name for yourself. Remember, change is inevitable. Turn a negative economic situation into your biggest strength by understanding how it affects your business and your target market.