Whenever times are hard and the economy heads south, people (and businesses) have to think a lot harder before they spend their money. This is something we have seen time and time again during past recessions.
However, the ‘credit crunch’ has given us a MUCH BIGGER problem, because our potential clients not only have less money than before – they are finding it hard or impossible to access credit too. As a direct result, generating sales or winning business is set to become increasingly harder, with potential clients understandably extremely cautious about spending their money. Perhaps more cautious than ever before.
One thing we know with total certainty, is that the marketplace for YOUR services is about to become more and more competitive.
This means your marketing has never been more important
You must be able to get the attention of your prospective clients and then totally convince them that you offer the best possible option for them. Any business today, whose marketing is ‘average’, is going to find the coming two years (some say three) increasingly painful. The only solution is to improve the way they sell and market their services.
Why is marketing so much more important now?
During a normal or strong economy, people don’t have to think too hard about making a purchase and are measurably less choosy. As a result, until recently, even poorly marketed companies were able to generate a level of sales; just by ‘being there’ or contacting prospects at the right time.
However, during a bad economic climate, people think far harder before they buy anything. As a result, we are seeing people and businesses now shopping around for the best offer before they spend a penny. Thus, they end up buying from the best marketed businesses, because these are the businesses who know how to grab their attention and make their offer sound the most attractive or compelling.
Today, good timing and hard work is no longer enough. You must learn how to out-market your competitors if you want to survive – let alone thrive!
Marketing provides an answer – Thankfully
Amid the doom and gloom, there’s always a ray of light. You see, as well as receiving a massive number of emails from readers who are really struggling right now – I have also received a small number of emails from readers who are experiencing their best year EVER.
When you understand why some businesses are doing so well right now, you will have an opportunity to do the same. But first, you need to know what ‘the average’ business does when faced with an economic slump. This is really important.
Most businesses do nothing
The ‘average’ business today will continue to sell and market their services as if nothing was happening. Sure, they will moan about the economy and their lack of trade; but they will just keep on doing the same ineffective marketing they always did.
They pin their hopes on things ‘just getting better’ before they run out of money.
In essence, they will stay inside their comfort zone and refuse to move, as if they were a 60 foot oak tree.
But some businesses take action!
Some businesses realise that there is a real opportunity here! They know that when times are tough, prospective clients always look for value – and making your services look more valuable is all about GREAT marketing. So, they decide to get serious about their marketing and thus they reap the rewards. The rewards are far greater than you might imagine.
Marketing lessons from recessions
We know that during past economic recessions, the businesses that improved their marketing and marketed their services the most successfully, managed to gain a disproportionately large share of their marketplace.
Also, when the economy improved, they were in the perfect position to continue growing at a super-accelerated rate! If you choose, you can turn the credit crunch into a springboard for your business. You can grow at the same time as your competitors shrink. You can use the coming months to transform the future of your business and your life – but only if you take action and do the right things in the right way.
So – what next?
First of all – STOP!
If your business is currently finding it a struggle to generate the volume and quality of sales it needs – Stop whatever marketing you are doing immediately.
If you keep using the same kind of marketing, you will keep getting the same results. Your sales, profits and turnover will not ‘just get better’. In fact, as the credit crunch continues, your sales, turnover and profits will drop unless you improve things.
Five steps to beat the credit crunch
OK – as I mentioned above, the first step is to stop all marketing activities that are not making you money. No matter how ‘comfortable’ you are with whatever you are doing, if it’s not working STOP doing it. Either find a way to leverage better results from it or discontinue it completely.
Start getting tons of business through your website. It’s a fact; a fully-optimised website is both the most effective and the least expensive way to generate sales, leads and enquiries. Your website can (and should) generate leads and enquiries for you all day every day.
I know people in just about every industry who now get the vast majority of their leads and enquiries via their website.
You can reduce your annual marketing costs by 90% and increase your sales by 100’s% (or more) at the same time! Almost all of all MY marketing is now done online. However, before you start enjoying all those leads and enquiries from red-hot prospective clients, your website needs to tick two important boxes:
- Firstly, it needs to look professional and have all the functions you need in order to collect enquiries, collect email addresses and make sales etc. If you want to know why some businesses get leads from their websites on an hourly basis (or better), whilst most websites generate almost nothing, you need the second and most important element…
- Secondly, your website MUST MUST MUST be Search Engine Optimised. The reason most small and medium sized business websites fail, is because no one can find them! So, you will need to get an SEO expert to make your site the one that people find when looking for whatever type of services you offer.
This is the most important step, yet hardly any small business websites are professionally optimised. Interestingly, 100% of all large company websites are optimised.
Getting a website optimised, is like picking up a shop, that’s located down an old dusty road with no passing trade – and placing it BANG in the centre of Oxford Street or 5th Avenue!
Read the sales and marketing posts and articles here on the blog. Everything is written by me, based on what’s proven to work. I put the blog together because most small and medium-sized businesses rely heavily on free marketing advice – and as a marketing professional, the marketing advice I found online was often pretty awful. I found that much of it was either shockingly poor , or very out of date. Look at this.
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