In the current economic recession, the thought of your business actually growing may seem about as realistic to you as being able to fly around the city like Superman.
However, according to a recent survey by Intuit (Quickbooks, TurboTax) 90% of small business owners see growth opportunities for their own companies over the next year. That’s quite surprising, isn’t it?
Many of these companies are in for a rude awakening unless they take the proper steps to weather the storm and come out of the recession ahead of the game.
Following are a few strategies to grow your company during a recession
Ways to Keep Growing a Business in a Recession
1. Continue advertising & marketing. It may be tempting to cut your marketing budget during tough times, but firms that stay visible in a recession tend to come out stronger in the end. You want to stay in front of the market so that your presence is felt.
Firms that come out of recessions the best are often the ones that actually increase marketing and advertising during the recession.
Think about it, your competitors are facing the same conditions.
And they’re tempted to cut their budgets. And many of them will, potentially losing valuable market share to you and other smart companies that invest during recessions.
2. Show established customers loyalty. Showing your customers that you appreciate their business is a sure way to keep their business. Though you’d think this is common sense, the number of companies I see that don’t act on this golden rule of business is astounding.
Did you know that it’s roughly 6x easier to get more business from an existing customer than from a new one?
Your customers know you and they trust you. Do good work for them and show them that you appreciate their business regularly.
Smart growth is about building a well diversified portfolio of expanded business with current clients and new clients. In almost any business, repeat, long-term customers are the lifeblood of success.
You can expand your current client business in many different ways, i.e. instituting a loyalty program which includes rewards and discounts to reoccurring customers, offering new services and serving new areas or departments of the client’s business.
3. Delight your Customers. Complementing a strategy of showing customers that you appreciate them is the idea of delighting. That is, promising modestly and producing fantastically.
When you produce beyond expectations, clients feel great about you and your Company. They feel that they really are getting a good deal and working with a knowledgeable and very competitively priced professional.
And this leads to spreading the word about you. When business people make smart decisions, they like their network to know about it for two reasons. They like to celebrate their good decision-making with others whose opinions they value. And, they like to help those who help them. Performance beyond expectations brings out the best behavior in your customers – they spread the good word.
4. Re-think your staff. There’s a lot of talent on the streets. Many are getting pink slips or taking early retirement as large corporations cut back. You’ll be able to attract employees with a wealth of experience – and potentially with their own established clients.
I’m not saying to let anyone go.. But take a fresh look at your needs.
Nobody likes to think about firing their employees, so this can be a touchy subject. But having the proper staffing is imperative to the growth of your business – especially in a recessionary environment where talent abounds.
There are affordable and productive channels at your disposal that you can use to attract your ideal hires. From the local college and university system, to Craigslist and other job posting sites, to word-of-mouth, there is a lot you can do to enhance your workforce.
This is another area, like marketing, where you can capture a competitive advantage once the recession is over.
Time For Action
Sure, these are good “ideas,” but this is where the rubber meets the road.
Of those 4 Simple Ways To Grow Your Business In A Recession, at least one of them can probably be applied at your company right now. And it would almost undoubtedly have a positive impact if implemented properly.
If you think these sound like good ideas (they should b/c they are!) but you’re not quite sure how to start or implement them…
If you’d like to learn about affordable ways to market during a recession..
Or if you’d like to think about some customer appreciation tactics, or get some fresh eyes on how you may be able to over-deliver to customers at a low cost…
Or if you think you’d like to start interviewing and hiring quality people.
RIGHT NOW is the best time to take action and we can show you what to do.
When you call, we’ll ask some questions to gain an understanding of your business and your perspective on what it needs. Working together, we can create a smart plan of action and even guide you so that you implement the plan effectively.
What’s important is that you take action now. Your business deserves it.
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