Surviving a recession doesn’t mean having irons in the fire for the future: It means making money immediately. When cash flow turns to a not-so-steady drip, fear produces damaging results. Businesses go into panic mode and instinct says to quickly become all things to all people. This is the beginning of the end.
Companies feel that casting the widest net possible is the best chance for success. In fact, it overextends a brand and dilutes the message. While it is important to diversify with many profit centers, it’s imperative to stay focused on niche customers. Now more than ever, a company must identify who their existing client base is and go at them hard. Capitalize on filling their needs and what is important to them and up-sell where appropriate. Becoming a “we-do-it-all” company and chasing every rabbit, causes excessive time wasters that only shorten the life expectancy of a company.
Leverage Your Contacts. Equally important is using relationships to generate those pre-qualified referrals that will open doors. Warm leads should be actively pursued and exploited by every member on staff. Often times, thousands of dollars are left on the table by companies who just forget to ask for it. Ask and you may well receive.
To stay in business and prosper, business owners need to continue their marketing efforts and let customers know they still exist. Many successful brands we see today were born out of the Great Depression. They advertised when others didn’t, making them market leaders. By having a product or service of value, they created the need and offered a solution. Reading customer trends and staying ahead of the curve is essential. A company that’s in business to give a customer what they want will always win.
Image and perception can turn a quick profit as well. Exciting consumer confidence is crucial to maintaining credibility and viability. The credit-strapped public does not want to give money to a sinking ship. Companies can keep themselves relevant by creating a newsworthy story of how their products or services are transcending economic challenges. Hard luck stories only generate insecurity; success in the face of adversity is far more profitable. Favorable publicity that instills consumer confidence will ring the cash register.
All in all, smart and purposeful actions can not only help businesses survive a recession, they can also experience unprecedented growth.
This article was written by Ryan Prucker, an image specialist and award-winning marketing executive and national media contributor. He is also the author of the book and audio program “The Image to Succeed.”