Creating Your Own Economic Recovery: Five Tips for Doing Business in Hard Times
Officials keep saying that the recession is over, but few small business owners would agree. Small businesses all over the country are feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Luckily, there are things that you personally can do to create your very own economic recovery.
Control your budget with an iron fist. Now is not the time to waste any amount of money. Make sure everything bought for your business is a great deal. Consider making changes around your office that might save electricity or other routine expenditures. The key to successfully pinching pennies successfully is to only do it in areas that don’t provide customer experience or product quality. However, that leaves a lot of potential for savings, so scrimp away—at least, in the areas where it doesn’t matter.
Offer lower cost products. Many customers are still buying the same amount of products, but they are buying less expensive products. If you don’t feel like losing these customers, it’s important to provide lower cost products and services that are within the narrowed parameters of a recession budget. Whether it’s a mini-massage instead of an hour-long one or a smaller box of chocolates, offer customers have affordable options and you can be sure they’ll keep coming back.
Expand your market. If you are offering services or products aimed at a very narrow customer base, one way to keep sales high is to expand your base of potential customers. If you have a dog grooming business, consider catering to the luxe crowd by offering spa services and puppy manicures. Almost every business can easily add products or services that are similar but not identical to the current fare. Just make sure this expansion doesn’t interfere with your brand or with the offerings for your target market.
Go global. While our country may still be mired in the recession, other countries have found it easier rebound. If you can take your operations overseas by offering shipping to other countries, you may find the increase in sales is significant enough to get you through these hard times. Look into the issues of taking foreign currency, advertising on foreign search engines, and getting packages through customs to see if this is a good route for your company.
Increase marketing. If this seems counter-productive at a time when you are pinching every penny, think again. Marketing is one area that almost always pays off exponentially. If you are being smart about your marketing, it will increase foot traffic and, if your products are good enough, increase sales. Never, ever cut the marketing budget; this will compromise your company even further.
As you can see, getting through an economic downturn may not be easy, but it is certainly possible. Don’t let a few hard years destroy the dream that you have worked so hard for when helping your business survive the recession can be as simple as following a few easy steps. Take action today and become the next small business success story.