How to Win in Today’s Economy or at the Very Least, Avoiding Drowning…
1. Don’t Cut off Your Nose to Spite your Face: Some of the easiest variable expenses to cut out are advertising and marketing. That also takes a bad situation and makes it worse. When your business drops and you take action to stop the flow even more, you are doomed. Be smarter with your marketing and adopt direct response methods that can be tracked and measured but don’t cut marketing because it’s the easiest cut.
2. A Little TLC Can Go a Long Way: Everything is a basic. Instead of cutting your education, double your education efforts. If the market is really that bad then you should have tons of time to educate yourself and your team. If your opportunities are fewer then you must maximize each customer contact. TLC – Think like a customer. Examine your process from a customer’s point of view and ask yourself what creates heartburn for those customers.
3. Do Not Cut Away Your Profit: Expense management is done at all times not just in bad markets. Cutting expenses in bad times is a misnomer. It’s like taking Tylenol for a heroin addiction. You set your good and bad habits in good markets not bad. Be selectively extravagant and prudently frugal. I have never seen a business survive and thrive a down market by trying to cut expenses as their long term strategy.
The Trend Watch: Boyfriend Jeans
Today as I donned my boyfriend jeans and boyfriend tshirt, I had a sudden nostalgia for those incredibly uncomfortable yet feminine skinny jeans. And then the nostalgia went away; quickly. For one, I do not remotely resemble a boy in these duds and two I realized I can consume as many doughnuts and Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers (and yes I do consider the words cheeseburger and bacon a proper noun) as I see fit without having to worry about the curse of the muffin top. And while I do not suddenly feel the need to watch football, start a fight or chug a beer I do understand the freedom that these loose fitting clothes allow.
The Future of Social Media
Just when you finally caved and got a Facebook page, understand the intricacies of LinkedIn and gathered up enough followers in Twitter to make it worth your while, the social media landscape has changed once again.
1. Video - While Youtube may be the biggest of the biggest user-generated video-sharing sites in today's market, others platforms are on the horizon. The buzz behind these new video-sharing platforms like Viddler and Dailymotion, is that they are more business-focused by making it easier to market videos. These sites are gaining some serious momentum so make sure that you do your research and figure out what works best for you company.
2. Text Campaigns - We are getting mobile and there is no greater proof of this than the growing mobile text campaigns. This form of social media is particularly great for small businesses as it is targeted and easily measured. I encourage you to check out MessageBuzz and Enowit and see how you can make it work for you.
3. Location, Location, Location - The buzz word that was once associated with real estate is now the buzz word of the social media world. As location services grow in popularity, customers will get more comfortable checking in to your business. Sites like Fouraquare and Facebook Places will help you better target consumers likes and interests. These sites are designed to help influence purchase decisions by offering coupons, promotions and giveaways when users "check in." Think location and watch your business grow.