It seems like reports of the bad economy are being talked about everywhere. Unemployment have risen and sales in many industries are reportedly down.
At the same time many of the small businesses we deal with remain unaffected and continue to increase their income and sales, forging ahead and conquering new territory – apparently unscathed by the worrisome news. Is it luck? What is their secret weapon for gaining ground, while others appear to be struggling for survival?
Bringing out the big guns
We are privileged to work with many entrepreneurs and small business owners and have discovered a few of the keys to success. The truth is these companies do have a secret weapon. A consistent plan of battle that fails to heed to the onslaught of bad news!
A good general knows his best defense against a bad economy is to keep promoting. While competitors are overwhelmed with problems and bunkering down, he is aggressively taking on new customers that everyone else has forgotten. Tapping into hidden opportunities, strategizing and staying quick on his toes he wins new ground, especially from fearful and distracted competitors, too scared to take action.
Let me tell you a tale to chase the night away…
Just the other day I listened to two business people talking about the bad economy. The first was saying how business was bad and the poor economy was taking a toll on their sales. The second business owner, a dentist, said they were unaffected by the economic slump. The first business owner blamed it on the difference in their industries.
But the dentist happens to have a consistent and aggressive promotion program in place which has increased in volume over the past 6 months – of course, I happen to know this because RESPONSE! handles her newsletter and postcard mailings.
I scouted the internet to verify that it was not a difference in industries but rather a difference in promotion strategies that changed the outcome for these two business people. The first site I found on the subject of dentists in the current economy was a blog discussing a dentist whose revenue is down 30% from the year before. He’s reasoning? "The economic climate is making patients nervous about spending money on their teeth". The economic crisis may be real but it is the individual tales of courage under fire that will make the difference between a practice that wins or loses.
Of one thing we are certain, those who have their promotion marching orders in place continue to forge ahead. And so in this issue we decode the hard-won secrets that I and other business veterans have learned through years in the trenches.
Emergency Battle Plans
1. Dig through your arsenal to uncover hidden ammunition.
Any past successful advertising or mailing programs should be scratched up, dusted off and re-launched. Look at past periods when business did well and find out which promotions, mailings or advertising were being done. RESPONSE! can help you polish these up and get them battle ready.
2. Keep the communication lines open.
In times of battle communication lines are highly prized. Make sure yours are open and in use by mailing and emailing existing clients with news, special offers and sales. During times of deafening economic barrages, your pennant* should shine clean and bright to promote confidence and enthusiasm in your products and services. This is achieved through newsletters, postcards, emails and letters.
3. Collect Intelligence.
Look through your files and find out who your best client is. Are they male or female, old or young, local or mail order, owners or renters? Then get a list of similar people to promote to. I can assist you to get the right list at great prices.
But even better than this, why not get a free, secure profiling of your list and clone your best clients by matching it with people who meet that specific, winning profile -the perfect client! The profiling will match up your clients -consumers or businesses -exactly with similar prospects who have the same interests, magazine subscriptions, credit scores, income, location and other criteria to get you the best possible list for your business.
The rest is straight forward – send postcards and mailings to your cloned list and recruit up new, perfect clients.
4. Deploy* Your Reserve Troops.
Run a referral program with existing clients. Promote a $25 account credit for referring a friend, or a $10 Starbucks Card for bringing in their family. Or simply ask them to tell people how great your business is if they liked your service.
5. Keep Auxiliary* Troops on Active Duty.
Deliver all products and services that have been bought at the best possible quality. Call and write to people to get them to complete services they have paid for and make sure to deliver all purchased products.
Victory is at hand
These are our weapons of choice. Use them well and win the economic battle!
Call me today for help planning or implementing your marketing strategy.
Call 314.646.7935 today.