The reading level for this article is All Levels
If you believe some of the news stories about the current economy, you might think the entire country is failing and that no one out there is doing well. But while there’s no denying that times are tough, many businesses are booming. In fact, some are thriving more than ever. And it’s not because these people know some secret to success during down times. They’ve simply adjusted to the situation and shifted their marketing focus. Anyone can do it.
If your business is not thriving like it used to, it’s time to stop blaming the economy. Remember, nobody knows exactly how long this economic downturn will last, and some elements of the recession may be here to stay indefinitely. So it’s time to adjust to the new climate. Here are some things you can do.
Use free marketing
Start by looking at ways that your operating expenses can be reduced. This doesn’t mean you need to cut parts of your business or get rid of employees. It means getting innovative and using all the tools that are available. For example, are you actively promoting your business through social-networking services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn? These are free and easy to use, and more and more businesses are using them to bring in a whole new set of clients.
The one thing you do not want to do is scale down your marketing. Too many businesses fall into this trap during lean times, and they end up stagnating instead of growing. Rather than scaling down, take your marketing in new directions, and don’t be afraid to embrace new technologies.
And of course, if you do not already have a well-designed website that is drawing clients to take action, you need to have one. In fact, even if you do have a website, you might want to take a critical look at it to see where it can be improved. Like social networking, search engines are essentially free marketing. Sure, it costs some money to create and maintain a website, but the cost is much less than some traditional marketing mediums.
Focus on your target market
As part of your efforts to streamline your marketing, think carefully about who you are trying to draw into your business, and target your marketing to them. There ARE people who simply wouldn’t be interested in your products or services, don’t give them another thought. Trying to market to them would be a waste of time and energy. Instead, get to know the people who would actually buy from you, and cater to them.
Once you know who your target market is, do everything you can to please them. Focus on providing top-quality products and services, and be sure to outshine your competition when it comes to personality and customer interactions. This way, strong word-of-mouth-another free marketing tool-will gradually build, eventually bringing you a steady stream of clients. Remember, businesses that consistently make provide value are recession-proof.
Start documenting tasks as you do them. Ask members of your team to document their daily responsibilities and an outline of how they perform those tasks.