During these tough economic times businesses are looking for opportunities to market their products and services. During recession times businesses need to reinvent themselves. Whether you are initiating a new venture or an existing business looking for new market avenues the new year offers some great opportunities to expand your marketing efforts. Here are 7 tips for small business managers during these tough economic times. (If you are a current entrepreneur you might want to look at these tips during times when they are not so dire).
- Bring your employees into your marketing environment. Many business leaders consider bringing in a business strategy consultant or a business coach when times are tough. There are lots of advantages to this approach however. One of these advantages is that you bring your employees into your marketing environment. This allows them to see your business from a unheard of perspective. They can ask better questions if they are now part of your marketing efforts. And there are many marketing consultants and coaches it would be in your best interest to make that individuals are the people questioning your marketing efforts.
- Find business opportunities that you are not actively pursuing: Now is a great time to seek out new opportunities that previously were deemed too expensive or that were simply unattainable. With the economy not being as robust as it should be these type of opportunities might not have occurred to the majority of small business owners. Let’s say that you are growing a small internet business. Could you offer different services such as: computer assistance, internet marketing, web design and integration, content creation and blogging? I think you get the picture.
- Back away from marketing that costs us the big bucks: also known as the ” permissible marketing”If you embed answers into your marketing efforts you will run the risk of being seen as inflexible. In other words:
Ask “What if” instead of “Who knows”
What if we need to update our web collateral?
How would that look?
Who knows? Write out the one thing that you can do to update our collateral?
- Create a niche for yourself: Don’t become a one size fits all. Become a specialized expert. That does not mean that you do not expand your marketing during the course of your business. When in doubt focus like a laser on your target market. If your target market is architectural design for home then it speaks to you then do more of what they speak about.
- Become a resource for your target market: Provide solutions to the problems in your market. Be the “Go-To” person. If your phone rings for the solution then connect the caller to yourself. If not you most likely are not helping the customer or prospect.
- Target Market Segmentation: Identify your target market using demographic, psychographic, and geographic segmentation techniques. demographic segmentation is data on a person or business; psychographic segmentation is behavior, attitudes, values, interest, and belief of a market segment; geographic segmentation is data relative to geography. Once your data is segmented it becomes the key component to your marketing mix.
- Don’t talk to the competition: Don’t listen to the tempting calls to beat business down. Again, with the example of architectural design for home – you don’t speak to others who offer architectural design for home. When you are in a recession your dollars are precious. As the “Go To” resource you must ask yourself the question, “Is this a business I want to be in or do I really want to be in this situation to advise my clients to do the same?” In bad economic times being a copycat is not out of the box.