10 Essential Strategies to Thrive During the Recession
10 Essential Strategies to Thrive During the Recession
As the inevitable recession starts to bite, two very different types of business are going to emerge next year. The first will struggle as a victim of the recession and credit crunch. It will decide to cut back on marketing, postpone development of its website and ignore the trend towards the expansion of business and sales on the internet.
The second won't just survive the recession, they will thrive during it. Against the trend their enquiries, sales and profits will rise. Those who run these businesses will understand that complacency is not an option. They will look to spend their time and money wisely in understanding and implementing the strategies that will bring their business through the recession stronger and more profitable.
1. It's all in the mind
Your own attitude and mindset will make a significant difference. Will the recession be an obstacle or an opportunity to your business? Will you fall victim to the 'scarcity mindset' that suggests that nobody will be spending money because there isn't enough to go around? Or will you realise thatpeople and businesses will still need things and will be prepared to pay for them?
2. Decide what makes a difference
What is the lifeblood of your business? Surely this must be your clients or customers! So finding and retaining clients is central to your success. So, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO STOP MARKETING. Instead create at least 5 marketing strategies, use and test them to find out which really make a difference to finding and keeping customers, and then increase your marketing spend.
3. It's who you know, not what you know
What is the most cost and time effective way to find new business? Have a clear strategy to getting referrals, the key element of which is to make sure you ASK, whether it's face to face, in your lettersor your emails. Consider looking at networking or business clubs as a way to increase your sphere of influence.
4. Promise to delight them
Take the trouble to find out what your customers really want or need. Go the extra mile in building and maintaining your customer relationships, you will find this really makes a difference.Follow Tom Farmer's promise whilst MD of Kwik Fit of "100% customer delight'.
5. Add value
Recognise your prospects and customers are looking for you to add value, so consider giving them something which is both free and of value. In many cases this will be knowledge or information in the form of free guides, free fact sheets, or access to free reports. But remember they need to give you something valuable in return i.e. at the very least their contact details: name, address, telephone number, email address.
6. Spin your web of success
Too many businesses either have no, or an ineffective, internet strategy. With the incrediblegrowth of theinternet, complacency in this area is not an option. So, if you don't have a website, get one! If you already have a website, does it address and fulfill your prospects and customers needs, not just talk about your business? Is your website optimised so people canfind you on the first two pages of search engines, or are you lost on page three or beyond?What do you want yourvisitors to do once they get to your website?Selling online throughe-commerce is a growing and highly profitable way to trade, but the biggest use of the internet is still to gather information, so make sure your website allows visitors to get what they are looking for.
7. The power of the in-box
Done properly, email marketingisthemost cost effective way of getting your message in front of prospects and customers. Use it to point people to your website,to generate leads rather than immediate sales,build relationships through newsletters and follow up all your other marketing activity. Getting a person's permission based email address should be a fundamental aim of all the marketing you do.
8. It's a numbers game
There are fundamentally two types of acquisition marketing.
2. Lead Generation
Particularly when money is tight people are reluctant to buy something straight away. So concentrate on lead generation. Whilst recognising not everyone will buy from you, it's a numbers game. If you generate enough enquiries by offering something free and of value and have an effective lead qualification system, you will generate good quality leads that lead to profitable sales.
9. The power of seven
If you are to make the most of your website, email marketing and other lead generating marketing strategies,you need to have a multi-step follow up process to ensure those leads are not wasted. It is accepted wisdom that on average it takes 7 points of contact with a prospect before they make a buying decision. So don't give up on contact number 4 or 5, be relentless in using email, direct mail and telemarketing to stay in contact with your leads.
10. Making it happen
There is a saying, 'attitude defines altitude.' In other words it's not just what you do, but how you do it that determines how high your achievements will be. People are attracted to other people who display a sense ofcertainty in what they do. Sodon't just decide to use these strategies, resolve to do them which will requiredetermination, doggedness and tenacity.
Impact Web Solutions is perfectly placed to help your business thrive during the recession. We can help you with website design, e-commerce, search engine optimisation and email marketing. Call us now on 0116 275 8456.