Surviving and Thriving in Difficult Times
Are you feeling ill at ease? Concerned about the state of the market and whatever’s happening to the economy?
There’s a lot being reported in the news every day to unsettle businesses throughout the UK – a hung Parliament which may not be able to achieve anything; Brexit negotiations that may or may not be good for your business; terrorist attacks that make everyone feel nervous and on edge.
And through all of this, you’re trying to run a business.
What’s the answer?
As human beings, we hate uncertainty, it makes us uncomfortable and seems to freeze the brain. However, it looks like we’re stuck with this uncertain landscape for the next couple of years at least.
So, what can you do to protect your business and continue to grow in these challenging times?
Firstly, determine what you can control, and what is totally outside of your control. If it’s totally outside of your control then there’s nothing you can do about it and worrying about it is a waste of time and a waste of mental energy.
The Government may collapse, Brexit may come off the rails, there may be more terrorist attacks, and it might rain tomorrow. As business owners, we cannot control any of those things.
However, there are a lot of things we can control including:
- Our attitude
- What we do in our business
At times of uncertainty, many companies hold off spending on marketing, waiting until they know which way things will develop. This is an opportunity for you, if you’re willing to take it. While your competitors are doing nothing and waiting, you can take action, step up your marketing, and take business away from them.
Now is not the time to sit on the side-lines hoping things will get better. It’s time to take action to make sure you and your business are in a position to benefit – whatever happens.
According to a PIMS (Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy) survey of how companies react to economic downturns, those who cut their marketing budget, cut the quality of their products, or cut down on new product development, take much longer to recover when the economy begins to improve.
Some suggestions for weathering the uncertainties of the current times:
- Keep marketing your business. If your competitors are holding off with a ‘wait and see’ attitude, they are losing market share. Keep up with your marketing and you’ll take market share from them.
- Streamline your business – look at where you can cut costs without cutting quality of delivery. Look at where there is waste in your business and work to reduce it.
- Don’t forget your existing customers – these are the people who already know, like and trust you. They’ve done business with you before so they’re likely to come back when they need your products or services again.
How do you do this?
Review your marketing. Your marketing budget may be cut so it’s vitally important to spend it wisely. Which marketing initiatives work well for you? Can you do more of them? Consider your advertising – is it reaching the right audience? Can you measure a return on investment?
Keep in touch with your clients and prospects – consider creating a regular newsletter to deliver useful information and keep your business ‘top of mind’. At the same time write articles and repurpose the content on different platforms such as blog articles, slideshare decks, and social media.
Look at all your service offerings with reference to your existing clients. Are your existing clients aware of everything you offer? Is there an opportunity to cross-sell other products or services?
Focus more than ever on finding prospects who are ready to buy. This will involve managing your leads closely so that you know where on the buying cycle they are. Create content that will appeal to someone who is looking for a solution, right now. To do this you need to be very clear on what immediate problems your best prospects are struggling with. What content can you offer that will go some way to solving that problem while portraying your company as the solution?
Present your offerings as a ‘safe’ solution for nervous buyers by using customer testimonials, reviews and case studies in your marketing.
If you want to survive and thrive in these uncertain times, don’t cut out your marketing or you’ll lose ground to those who continue to be seen in the marketplace.
And if you need any help creating newsletters, articles or social media posts, give us a call on 01296 737823. We’ll be happy to chat to you about your requirements and we can show you examples of all those items we’ve written for our existing clients.