There is no denying that we are experiencing turbulent economical times. DUH!
That certainly wasn’t breaking news, but I am noticing a tremendous flow of negative energy coming from business men and women who fear the future of their companies, but are failing to notice the more obvious ways to break free from the closing grip of the recession.
I am not a genius when it comes to market analytics, and I don’t claim to have the answers to all of your business related problems. But what I do have are 5 more obvious, but commonly forgotten, tips to remember when riding the wave of this fickle economy, and I suggest reading to the end.
1) DO NOT lower your prices! Lowering your prices are not the answer. It’s not even a good short term answer, and long term it is brand suicide. This will send two messages to the consumer: My products/services may have been grossly over priced until now, and/or my brand is a cheap alternative. And your customers, despite what you may think, are impressionable and disloyal. You begin to send out these signals and post-recession you will still be looked at as the ‘cheap alternative’, and good luck raising your prices again.
2) Offer value added benefits. Instead of lowering prices, why don’t you shock your consumer by offering more than you were for the same price? You may have to be strategic about this approach to avoid letting it get out of control, though. First, begin by thinking of inexpensive ways to add value to your products and/or services. For example, if you are a suit boutique, offer tailoring with the purchase of a suit of a certain value. Or, like we have been doing here at Atilus, offer additional consulting services to ensure a websites success during it’s development with our company. Doing more, or simply going the extra mile, will prove to enhance the value of the product/service purchased, in addition to appealing to your consumer on a new and level. They will appreciate it. But like I said, you may have to be strategic in that you may want to apply certain value, time line, amount, etc restrictions to avoid over use.
3) A la carte is in! Bundle packages for products and services were an excellent way for businesses to sell more to the consumer, and the consumer appreciated the convenience or bulk rated discount. But now, consumers are becoming increasingly more selective about what they purchase. For example, they may really like one company’s hair shampoo but does not favor the same company’s hair conditioner, so as a hair salon why force them to purchase both as a package? Separate them and sell as individuals. They may not buy them both, but now they have the option to buy one instead of none. That still impacts your bottom line. For service industries, as a landscape company you may have been able to sell mowing and hedging as a coupled service, but people are pulling back. They may not need the luxury of a proper hedge, so offer them separately. Again, one is better than none.
4) Advertise! MORE! Yeah, I know. You are stretching to pay the bills, concerned about if your account receivables will get paid, and the last thing you want to do is increase your expenditures. Or is it? The economy is tough, businesses are sleeping, so now is the time for you to actively and aggressively push your product and services to the front. Already advertising? (You are advertising aren’t you?) Then advertise more! Not to mention, advertising outlets are struggling too… I smell favorable negotiations!
5) MOST IMPORTANT!!! Remain positive… Thinking negatively, will produce negative words, which perpetuate negative actions, which only lead to negative results… every time, no exceptions. If you expect the worst; that is precisely what you will receive. Your life, and the life of your business, are directly affected by your choice to be negative or positive. Owning a business is never easy, recession or no recession. But, hey, your a business man, your used to taking risks, right? Enjoy this recession, remain positive, and you will pop out the other side a stronger, wiser, more accomplished business man.
After all, the recession is just a byproduct of negative energy anyway.