Is your business hit by the recession? Even though your sales growth may be slow for a while and the trends may vary from one industry to another and from one location to another, you do not need to despair. Your business will turn around soon. You need to make sure that your business survives the recession. In this hard times, you need to run a smart business and not just a business. Here are five important lessons you can learn to survive the recession.
1. Market positioning.
In good times, small business owners become complacent. We forget those things that helped us in making profits and forget the needs of our customers. New players enter the market place on a daily basis and steal our customers from us. Consumer behaviour and tastes change. Things never stay the same.
Recessions offer a rude but beneficial awakening. When profits go down on a spiral level, we will look back at our mode of operation. We will realize our mistakes, get close to the customer again and understand why they really buy our products and services.
2. Finding strategic opportunities.
In bad times, most businesses downsize to weather the storm. Sometimes, this works but more often it is a dangerous strategy. Rather than lay off your staff it is better to create new and viable business opportunities and abandon the old ones.
If the old business opportunities you have are not giving you results, seek new needs or problems and provide solutions to them. Other businesses that lay off their staff create a vital pool of experienced talent to help you go after them.
3. Creating strategic selling systems.
Gone are the days people buy products and services just because they need them. Your customers have become smarter and more sophisticated. And so has their needs. With the internet, smart phones and social media platforms, people tend to get information about anything and everything in seconds at the tip of their fingers. The way you sell to your customers needs to change.
You need to embrace content and social media marketing. “Tell” and do not “sell”! Let them see you as the “go to” guy for all their problems and the market leader in your industry.
4. Cost management.
Strategic selling can help a company weather an economic downturn, but it can’t save the business unless it is coupled with tight financial controls. You need strong financial control and management to manage the flow of money in your business.
This is not a time to spend money recklessly. You need to spend money on the things your business needs only. Always remember to pay yourself so as not to be tempted in using your company’s funds.
5. Measuring personnel contribution.
If cash is king in any business, the staff is queen……particularly in troubled times. Your staff are a key asset, yet small business owners view them as an expense instead.
For your business to grow during a recess, you need to tie jobs to productivity. Rather than slash their salaries or downsize your staff, you need to rigorously analyse their individual potential to help the company reach its strategic goal.
See you at the top!
See you at the top!