Smart companies know that a nasty recession is the best time to surge forward and leave competition wondering what happened.. Companies that look at marketing as a necessary investment, and not an expense, and have been running their business through customer knowledge are the ones that are best prepared for recession.
Smart companies know that a nasty recession is the best time to surge forward and leave competition wondering what happened..
Companies that look at marketing as a necessary investment, and not an expense, and have been running their business through customer knowledge are the ones that are best prepared for recession.
Everybody talks about recession, credit crunch and downturn. Listening to the evening news or reading the business dailies has become as scary as watching horror movies. Governments and businesses are cutting costs, and customers are tightening their purses.
For some companies recession is the opportunity of their lifetime. For others will the current economic environment challenge their survival.
Very often is the cutting of marketing costs the initial reaction in responding to a recession, but we ought to look for other ways to minimize costs without compromising the business, because there are always ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.
Recession is the time for you to see which brands in your portfolio offer more value to your customers. Is you sales going down, then re-engineer the brand's value proposition. Only brands that are prepared for recession may survive.
Being short-sighted is destructive to your business. Bad times hurt, but do not let the present economic situation distract you. Keep focused on your long-term goals and make every decision beneficial to the present and the future.
It is not enough to understand what a troubled global economy might do to the demand of your products and services.
There are ways that you can deal with the recession. You can in fact try to turn it around and use it to your own advantage. Now, more than ever, you really need to go »out there« and promote yourself, and in more ways than you ever thought were possible.
People are expecting change, so use this opportunity to adjust your business model.
During a downturn you must re-assess your marketing strategies to make sure they are cost effective. You might be wasting valuable resources if you do not see a good sales effect from the all money you have spent on promotion.
Therefore, take a good look at your marketing tools, and implement control systems that measure and track the results of all of your marketing, advertising and publicity efforts.
There are several successful, inexpensive marketing and sales tactics worth investigating.
Make people interested in your business, by focusing on service, being generous and not at least by showing genuine interest in the problems that customers and other companies are coping with, so people would want to do business with you. We all appreciate the notion that we "are in this together."
Success in business is built upon good relationships, so do not stop building them. Find out what is happening with your competitors, suppliers and customers in these uncertain times. Differentiate yourself from the competition and give your customers the right answer to why they should do business with you versus your competitors.
Survey your existing customers to see what they want and then sell it to them. Talk with your customers and try to understand them.
Your customers can tell you a lot just by tightening their purses. When they can do it, you can do it too. Build a stronger relationship with your customers through frequent contact, special offers and newsletters.
Are you selling a premium brand, try to cut the costs, but not the investments. Luxury brands are often less affected by downturns. If possible, market your products as gifts or utility items, which are sold all year around. Find out what products and services make the most profits and which ones make the least. Start with promoting and up-selling the ones that make the least first. The last thing you want to end up with is piles of needless inventory. Establish inventory targets by making a just-in-time ordering system, and make sure that your sales and purchasing departments are talking.
Find out where there are saving potentials. Each coin you can save drops directly to the bottom line as profit.
Your employees may have the right ideas to where money can be saved. Listen to them and pay attention to their suggestions, but make sure that the reduction of costs does not impact revenue in a negative way.
Reduce your company's energy consumption, make more efficient use of resources, and your company will achieve financial cost savings. By using »benefit-cost-analysis« you will be able to compare alternative actions according to the relative costs and the benefits gained (technical, environmental and economic).
Before you ever start thinking about decreasing prices – please, do yourself a favor and reconsider it – because, what will happen to you when the economy will turn around again? Surely, your products will sell when you decrease prices - but do not forget the consequences - you cut your profit margins and likely dilute your brand in the process. Moreover, if customers decide to buy again from you in the future they may expect the same low prices.
Do not »breed« loyalty, but reserve discounts only for current, repeat customers.
Quality service is the best way to add value without costing money, and the best way to get loyal customers.
When customers contact your company, then your customer service has an opportunity to improve or to worsen the relationship with the customers. If you want your customers to be loyal, implement good service practices that you and your employees pay attention to. Always ask the customers if there is anything else that you can do.
By taking the time to ask you show the customers that you value them, which often results in increased business and more satisfied customers.
Talented people may leave or be let go by your competitors. This is an unique opportunity for you to employ skilled, experienced and fresh thinking people for reshaping your workforce to the needs of your future business model. Many companies take the traditional approach during an economic slowdown by making the mistake of initially cutting back expenditure and laying-off staff. Such measures only focus on controlling costs and addressing short term needs. This is a one-sided approach which can be very harmful to a company's revenue and it will not position a company to capitalize on the return of better times. While your competitors are laying off staff, use the opportunity to invest in new and talented employees.
If some of your customers have old debts to you, call them in. A good amount of cash on hand will help you meet commitments to staff and suppliers, make vendors to spend on marketing activities, and facilitate the future growth of your company.
Should you have contracts coming up for renewal in the near future, try to re-negotiate them to lower prices.
Look for ways to expand your business, strengthen your position and emerge from the downturn stronger and better-placed, because the downturn might offer you the chance to extend your lead over the competition.
Keep an eye on the market, your competitors and suppliers.
Some companies may not be able to survive on their own – but it may be worth trying to create alliances by partnering your stakeholders for facing the downturn together.
By applying effective and sound business strategies, companies can prosper during a recession. Due to the hard economic times may some of your competitors disappear, leaving you to pick-up their shares in the market.
What is important is that you take greater control of all facets of your business and monitor your performance on a regular basis.
Moreover, it’s critical for you as a company owner to take steps NOW in order to minimize the damage to your business that could happen as a result of a recession. Find out where your company spend too much, and save time and money in the long run. The global economic situation will turn around – it always does – so keep focused, create processes and systems for running your operations smoothly in uncertain times.