The Long View

29 July 2008 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

The economy is shaky, expenses are up across the board, and it may seem like you’re at the mercy of forces beyond your control. But it’s YOUR business, so take charge and think strategically about what internal decisions you can make to position your company for ongoing success.

The first thing most of us think of is cutting costs, both within your operations and in terms of your price to clients. But before you make a cost-cutting decision think about how that decision may affect your business once the economy recovers. So go ahead and cut costs, but only if sure it won’t negatively impact your business later.

One time-tested way of cutting costs is to “make do and mend”, a phrase that was used frequently from the time of the Great Depression––and no, I’m not making a comparison ;)––all the way through WWII. Both money and materials were in short supply, so “make do and mend” was how businesses and households managed. 

I think this is great advice to apply to your marketing efforts. It may seem counterintuitive, but marketing during down cycles is a great way to get ahead. Many of your competitors may be slowing or stopping their marketing, which leaves the field wide open for you; and you may be able to get better rates from your marketing partners at this time.

Ideally, you’ve been tracking your marketing efforts and know which techniques work best for you. Take a closer look at those tactics that haven’t been as successful as you’d hoped. What can you do to fix or adjust them to increase leads and sales? If you can’t think of anything reasonable, now is the time to eliminate that concept and devote your time and money to those that work.

Take a few hours to review the techniques and tools that are working for you. Could your website use a new section or a new look? Is it time to add some new products or services? Should you change some of your key product benefit points to help close more sales?

It’s often said that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s the support system for your business and needs to be kept running smoothly, every month, no matter what the economic forecast may be. Because like fashion, economies run in cycles, and though there will always be lean times and boom times, the goal for your business is the long view…and to be able to deal with all types of economic realities.

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