In this article we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how to get going in a difficult economy. When we’re done, you’ll be armed with a creative, industrious, positive attitude in the face of hard times – the same hard times that cripple your competitors.
If you’re reading this article in the middle of a difficult economy – and the chances are that you are – it’s vitally important to take careful stock of the psychological and transactional changes going on in both the minds and lives of your market place and in the minds and lives of your competitors.
Look at the attitude and actions of your suppliers, vendors and support services.
You’ll probably witness the following predictable reactions.
Your competitors are feeling battered. Their sales and marketing approaches are generating meager results. They don’t have tried and tested plans in action. And they don’t have a proactive strategy for capitalizing on all things going awry.
So typically you’ll see them pulling back and trying to cut costs to maintain a holding pattern. Or they’re redoubling the same ineffectual efforts that didn’t really work during the good times but got masked by the upward force of the economy.
So what do you do?
Set up an offence and defense – Offensively, you look for gaps, weaknesses and hidden opportunity in all this adversity. And believe me it exists in droves.
Defensively, you stop doing anything that isn’t working. Test, monitor and measure your results and you’ll know immediately when something isn’t working and you can stop wasting time and money on it right away.
This will help you guard against loss, but you can do better than that. Your next step is to go beyond merely surviving and to begin enacting changes that will ensure your business continues to evolve.
What are some of those direct and impactful ways? Well, we’ve talked about the importance of joint ventures so let’s start there.
Your first plan of action should be to structure joint ventures with groups who already have access, trust and credible relationships with market segment you want to reach.
The key is to move your costs from fixed and speculative to variable, contingent and result certain. But it gets even better. These steps comprise only stage one of your crisis growth strategy. Your entire outlook and modified approach are based on gaining more direct, favorable, predisposed and highly credible access to your market in unconventional (but highly ethical) ways – and these are ways your competitors would never think of.
It’s your opportunity to make your product or service stand head and shoulders above the rest. Think about it. When your competitors are too blinded by their own panic to reach out to the market place in a meaningful way, that’s when you can establish yourself as the pre-eminent, most trusted, reliable source whilst everyone you compete against is bleeding red ink.
Life Time Value of a Client
You can engineer countless performance based deals with other businesses when you are able to make them irresistible propositions. The key to success at structuring no-cost performance deals is to know your allowable cost for acquiring a customer.
Most companies don’t analyse what a lead, prospect and converted first time sale really costs them. And until you know that piece of information along with the life time value of the buyer, it’s impossible to make performance based deals with the media and other companies.
In a crisis economy when sales are down along with consumer confidence or motivation you need to make offers, propositions and proposals that are irresistible, unbeatable and non-refutable. And in this context especially remember the life time value of your buyers.
In any economy the goal is to start the buyer relationship as quickly as possible, because the sooner they buy that first time, the sooner they’ll come back to buy again.
So your goal in good times or bad is to lower their resistance, lower the barrier of entry and reduce the hurdle. Make it easy for your prospect to say “Yes.”
Penetrate New Markets
In a crisis economy odds are great that your competitors are focusing their attention on the same basic market that you’ve all targeted all along.
If everyone else is depending on either their newspaper ads or Yellow Pages to generate business, you can tap into overlooked, undervalued alternative sources.
For one thing, there is an economic connection between doing one type of improvement and the incentive to do more.
For example, people who remodel a kitchen suddenly see that the rest of the house looks a bit shabby. So they re-carpet and re-paint and re-do the driveway, roof, and bathroom and so on. It’s the same for people who add a pool or spa. They re-do their landscaping, re-envision their garden, and add an extension to their veranda.
Well let’s say you’re the contractor remodeling a bathroom. You can go to all the people who do non bathroom remodeling such as kitchen re-modelers, carpet companies, and roofing people and make deals to get their client’s names after their work has been completed. Their business is potentially a huge source of future business for you.
Look at your basic business – not what you sell, but what you don’t sell that your type of buyer or client needs, wants and will buy in a crisis economy.
Most business owners see themselves as being highly specific sellers of a single category of product or service, yet the same people who buy from you also purchase complementary or related products or services before, during and after they buy from you.
By adding additional back-end products or services that you can source from quality providers who, like you, are struggling in this crisis economy and will be open and willing to structure very advantageous deals where you offer their products and double, triple or even quadruple your revenue.
Once you’ve mastered the art of growing your business regardless of what is going on in the surrounding world, your business will always thrive if you action these ideas.
In a downturn, fewer people are taking the steps they would in rosier times. Your competitors are struggling because they possess the mentality that says “No one is buying”. You on the other hand are growing your business because you know that whilst the pie might be smaller, your piece of the pie is getting bigger and bigger.
For further information on how your business can benefit from these and other exciting business and marketing tactics call Bob Lyon direct on 043 883 0937 or get your FREE report entitled “How To Sell Your Business At Your Price … And Cause A Stampede Of Prospective Buyers Literally Begging For Your Time” by simply going to www.betterbusinessreport.com/ab4s1.htm