Monthly Archives: June 2016
Here are 10 tactics small business owners use to keep their businesses afloat during slow seasons…
- Cement every client relationship. Conducting one-on-one meetings with every customer to ensure complete customer satisfaction and to renegotiate temporary rates to keep the business where necessary has been a key strategic move during this season.
- Focus on advertising. My best tip for keeping business afloat during slow season is to focus on advertising, and actually invest and spend on advertising. In other words, take a counter-intuitive approach to advertising. Why? Because in the summer season for instance, advertising is a lot less competitive as most businesses (with the exception of travel) spend less during the summer. You can buy advertising cheaper, and you can also make your business stand out because of less competition. Consumers don’t just “shut off” in the summer, and in fact most consumers are predisposed to spend more money in the summer months, which can make advertising pay off.
- Get active. When things are slow, I have a number of actions to take to get myself in action again. You can’t rely just on online sales. I participate in craft fairs and flea markets and will often set up a sale to bring in new customers. I am also approaching stores to talk to the owners or managers about wholesaling my work. Finally, I do custom work. I have done a few pieces for people in my building and that leads to others who want jewelry made just for them.
- Recharge your business. As my company experiences slower moments, we leverage those opportunities to concentrate on ways to recharge and grow the business. So often, we are so busy serving clients that we often do not take sufficient time to organize ourselves, come up with new ideas and processes, and to shine the light on our own company. Thus, we change the emphasis at those times to truly working on our business, instead of solely in it, which recharges, educates, trains, and connects us. Further, as a marketing company, we brainstorm and work on our own marketing initiatives, as they seem to fall by the wayside in favor of our clients’ marketing.
- Produce more sales. This is the highest and best use of my time as without new sales the business will certainly fail. Spending two full days per week in the field with the sales team is an absolute must for the remainder of this year to ensure our revenues. , CEO of Estrada Strategies, a CEO coaching firm based in Southern California.
- Take your business online. We shut down the brick and mortar side of the business to preserve cash and save the business and operated solely online, leveraging top organic search placement in the search engines, in addition to paid search strategies. Everything online is trackable and measurable–there’s no fat. The online marketing emphasis helped us survive, preserve cash and reach a national client base.
- Do “good” work. When things are slow in my business, I find myself taking on more pro-bono work and volunteering. It not only allows me to use my time and talents for the greater good, but it also provides a platform me to try out new ideas or tools that have been wanting to implement. I volunteer because I am passionate about the cause, but it generally leads to more business opportunities as well!
- Adapt to the season. Some seasons are slower than others but if you keep your business relevant to what’s currently going on, your customers will appreciate the sentiment. Offer deals, contests, and giveaways pertaining to the holidays. Another appreciative notion your customers will take positive notice of is giving a nice ‘thank you shout out’ to all of your loyal supporters in your newsletter. Around the winter months remind your customers they are all priceless presents to your company.
- Improve efficiency. We’ve always tried to make sure that we keep on improving the efficiency of our operation. When we say we make our operation more efficient, it means we try to scale well when business grows. When we first began, our focus was obviously to grow the sales / revenue. However, as we grew, we made sure that our revenue / employee ratio continued to increase instead of decrease.
- Manage the bottom line. Cutting out all luxury expenses and managing the numbers month-by-month to maintain profitability and positive cash flow has been the most difficult thing to do. We get comfortable justifying many expenses in our business that are not operational critical and can be either completely eliminated, differed for a future date or cut back. Source: brandmakernews.com
Your Loan in the Valley
Just because your client doesn’t say anything doesn’t mean they don’t want anything. Here are the 7 things customers really want.
Here are the 7 things customers want you to do, but will never, ever tell you about.
- You and your team’s looks matter. Looks shouldn’t matter, but they do. When a client interacts with you, they want clean, well put together people who are pleasant, positive and professional.
- Prove to me you want our business. When you go to pitch that big prospect, are your first words to them, “Tell me about your business?” If so, you just offended them because you didn’t make the effort to learn about them. They won’t tell you that. They simply won’t hire you.
- You’re making things too complex. As you explain what you do (or are doing, or are going to do) for a client, keep it simple and stick to the basics. Remember, they hired you to take on a project or take care of a problem; and many don’t want to know the itty-bitty details. Keep it simple. Don’t confuse your client.
- I want you there 24/7. Clients and customers like the idea that you’re there for them whenever they need it, in an emergency, even if it’s because of their lack of planning.
- I want to only deal with you. Clients know that presidents and CEOs have the firepower to get stuff done, and they want to deal only with you. Try to be consistent with your interaction with your clients across the board: They definitely don’t want to feel like you’re passing them off to an underling in favor of a more important client.
- A token of appreciation would be nice. Thank you gifts can go along way to showing a client you care about them, and that you appreciate their business. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive; a thoughtful gift goes a long way.
- Impress me! Who hasn’t heard “we don’t have a budget”? The truth is, they do have the money—they just prefer allocating it to something else. Give them a reason to spend their money on you. Source: americanexpress.com by Mike Michalowicz