How to Prepare for “Better Days” by Marketing and Attracting New Business

Many would argue that we are beginning to see some signs of economic recovery, even with near 10 percent unemployment and a crippled housing market. If you are in the other camp that thinks we’re not out of the woods yet, it will happen. Either way, if you don’t prepare for this, you will end up in a worse position when it does come.

Even today, as markets rise and fall, employees are still being laid off, and home prices have hit rock bottom in some markets, I believe companies should start getting ready for an upturn. With that being said, let’s look at a few ways to prepare for better days.

Get juiced

There is no time like the present to be creative. Innovation can make money for you and your company. Like the Boy Scouts, be prepared. Set time aside to brainstorm with your employees, friends, and coaches. Get the creative juices flowing around products, services, and processes.

Talk to your customers

Start spending time with your customers, even with the ones that aren’t currently doing business with you. Let them all know you value their business and want their business. Then ask them what you can improve. Find out your strengths and weaknesses, and then work on them.

Look around

Do not let a focus on cost reductions prevent you from looking at what is happening elsewhere; this can mean missing opportunities that come up when, for example, a competitor fails or a potential new customer enters the market. Be clear about what customers value, what you offer, and what others do not. If you do not know this, you risk cutting—or failing to invest in—the pieces you will need when the economy improves.

Spend wisely

Marketing and product development are often the first to be cut during a downturn, but your company can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Look for low-cost PR options like email campaigns or online advertising. It’s vitally important to keep your brand or company in front of your customers. When things improve, they will expect new offerings.

People make the difference

When the market recovers, it will be more competitive than ever, and if you have good talent that you want to keep, you’ll need to invest in them. Ensure that your employees’ skills are sharp and try to reward those who are deserving. Evaluate your team, and if you have doubts about anyone, consider replacing them. There are a lot talented people in the market, and it may be a good time to poach good people from competitors.

Create a new world strategy

Our world is rapidly changing, and you need to create a plan for the future. Use scenario planning to work out how you would position your business for success should there be a shift of economic power to, say, the Far East. Who will your competition be, and what will they do? Also, consider possible social, environmental, and governmental factors, as well as possible legislative changes. Companies that fail to plan or ignore the changing world will position themselves in the wrong marketplace for the long term.

Be a positive leader

If you look fearful and pessimistic, your staff will behave that way too. There are always things to be positive about, so celebrate the victories and set a positive tone for what the future may look like.

Making it through an economic downturn is not an easy process, nor is it something we can sit back to wait and see. Act now, be brave, and you’ll be rewarded with customers who recognize you as a forward-thinking, innovative company, and they will want to do business with you.

Attracting new business

Everywhere I look, I see businesses struggling to make it through the tough times. Business leaders are searching for innovative ways to cut expenses and boost revenues. While it is necessary to protect the customers you may have, it is even more important to attract new ones. If you are not constantly growing your customer base, your business is falling behind.

Let’s examine how to go about looking for new business, and once you find it, then determine what to do with it. First, master your craft. Know the latest sales and marketing techniques and have the best possible support equipment. Most importantly, study the target group and know everything about its business.

Second, know that new customers are essential to your survival. They provide income and “put food on the table.” Recognize that the right new customers can provide for many years to come; therefore, plan to develop long-term relationships so your clients can be cared for and have no reason to go elsewhere.

Undoubtedly, there are potential customers out there in your industry who have a need for your product or services. Find out who they are. Do some research, learn their needs, get their names, and prepare a presentation that will hook them for life.

About the Author: 

Mike Disser

Michael Disser is owner and president of MAD Marketing, LLC, Okatie, S.C., a marketing consulting firm focused on helping companies in the rental industry blend traditional marketing strategies with new marketing technologies and tactics. For additional information, visit www.madmarketingguys.com or call (773) 597-5020.