All small businesses, whether they are home businesses or brick and mortar, established or just starting up, are making changes in their business plan, budget or service to make money in this economy. The key to recession proof your business is to review every aspect of your business plan to ensure that it meets the current market conditions. Be sure to avoid these 5 major mistakes:
1. The Eeyore Effect.
It’s tough out there, I know, but stay the course. Even better, find a way to do what you do better and run the course! There is plenty of money to be made no matter what the news says…people are still spending. To recession proof your business, bring the enthusiasm and creativity back into your business, educate yourself further on your niche, network with other small businesses in your community (or online)…you will find that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the worst time to give your customers less service, or lower quality service (or product). Showing that you are grateful to even have the sale means providing excellent service and a top notch product, if applicable. Go above and beyond…your customers will appreciate it and will think of you again in the future. That translates to repeat sales and possibly even referrals (don’t forget to ask for referrals!). A vital way to recession proof your business is to increase sales with your existing clients.
3. Oh yeah…that business!
Get in front of your customers…frequently…and stay there! Build a database if you haven’t already and communicate with them. It doesn’t have to be hard sales or boring updates…have fun with it! Send a fun, inspiring message with your coupon or specials. Send a joke with your newsletter or referral request. If you have a website that doesn’t have lead generating-capturing-converting capabilities…get one! To recession proof your business today you have to use the power of the internet to your full advantage.
4. What budget?!
Aside from increasing sales, the other big component to recession proof your business is to reduce expenses. Do not make the mistake of neglecting to review and adjust your expenses frequently. Examine your expenses carefully, and leave no stone unturned. You’d be surprised how much cash flow you can free up by lowering overhead costs in every category. Everything you spend money on should give you the maximum possible output, from employees to utilities to your marketing plan.
5. Business Suicide.
Really…in a recession…of all things?! Many businesses make the mistake of cutting their marketing expenses out of their budget…entirely! It makes sense to carefully evaluate your marketing plan and make adjustments accordingly, yes, but do not stop your marketing efforts! The key ingredient to recession proof your business is to increase sales, whether from past customers or new customers! Look for affordable ways to market your product or service, many of which can be found online these days. Use social media to drive traffic to your website, use your website to build a database and use email marketing to stay in touch with these prospects. These affordable techniques will help you grow your business despite the recession.
It’s sad to see business doors closing, or websites shutting down, because the truth is that there are very few jobs left out there and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people lining up for them. It makes more sense to plug back into your business and make it happen! Imagine what a great position you and your business will be in once the economy improves!
The key is to take action and be consistent! Step 1 to recession proof your business is to find out how we can help you slash your marketing expenses and increase your sales.