The following guest post is from Neil Belenkie, who lends his expertise on steps businesses can take to not only survive the recession, but thrive in it. Here’s his top 10 ways to grow your business during tough economic times:
1. Budget Responsibly
This is not the time for frivolous spending. 60 inch plasma tvs are not a priority, no matter how cool they would look in your foyer. Make absolutely certain that every dollar you spend is directly related to generating revenue for your business.
2. Make Knowledge-Based Decisions
Don’t use intuition when it is possible to use facts. It will take extra work, but when you have data to base your decisions on, not only can you measure the success of your decisions but you can remove the risk of uncertainty.
3. Be Strategic
Success is not luck. Think hard about why your customer would want your products or services. The marketplace has evolved, make sure that your message is relevant and that your communications resonate with your target audience.
4. Be Unique
Do not try to be all things to all people, be all things to a few people and they will all buy.
You need to find new ways to make money. Create new applications for your existing products, find new customers who would benefit from your services, find new products that your existing customers will also need… Do not accept that what you’re currently doing is all that can be done.
Figure out exactly who your customers are and then think about where else they are purchasing their products or services. Approach the providers of these other products and services and create partnerships where you can refer customers back and forth between your businesses. Their company is not competitive to yours so it is in both of your best interests’ to make this work.
7. Plan Well
The marketplace has changed, is your business plan still relevant? Spend time analysing how your customer’s need have changed and ask yourself if you have changed with them. If not, you need to make sure that you have a plan to bring your business up to date. This applies to your product/service and your employees. Make sure to focus on and test soft skills as well as practical ones, as they are often appreciated more by customers. If you are doing well, then make sure you have a plan for the next phase of this evolving marketplace.
8. Invest in Low Risk ROI Opportunities
Money is tight but that doesn’t mean that you can afford not to spend. Keep seeking out new business opportunities. With each opportunity, assess the investment versus the forecasted revenue and don’t be afraid to go after an opportunity when the numbers work.
9. Create Multiple Revenue Channels
If you are only doing business through your store, you need to find new ways to access your customers. Start an online business where customers can purchase your products remotely. Hire sales representatives who can take your products to the customers instead of waiting for your customers to come to you. Find other companies to sell your products for you. More access to customers equals more sales.
10. Do it Now
Your business will not turn around on its own and every day passed is another day of lost revenue. Commit to making changes now.