How does your business handle a slowdown?
No matter how successful your company is, eventually business will slow down. There will be
times when customers disappear, overall activity decreases, and sales decline. Whether it’s a seasonal slowdown or a decline in the overall economy, your businesses’ ability to survive depends on how you react when business is stagnant. Don’t panic! Now is the time to evaluate your overall business and take stock on what’s working and what isn’t, a chance to come up with new ideas, and an occasion to set new plans in motion. Read on to learn how marketing, networking, and social media can help resurrect your business!
It’s common for business owners to cut out marketing when times are tough, but marketing
should receive even greater focus when things are slow. When customers are disappearing, the last thing you should do is stop communicating with them. While marketing strategies can be expensive, there’s a plethora of inexpensive and creative ways to stay in touch with your customers. For example, gain free publicity from a local news source by issuing press releases for noteworthy events relating to your business. Attention from local media is invaluable!
Something else to keep in mind is the marketing rule of seven. It has been proven over and over that the more positive interactions you have with customers and prospects, the easier it is to sustain relationships and make more sales. The marketing rule of seven states that a prospect needs to see your message or logo at least seven times before they’ll act and buy that service or product. But don’t forget…what’s said in your message does matter. Make sure it’s meaningful and not a spammy sales pitch. Potential customers can be exposed to your offer more than seven times and still have no interest in what you’re selling because of a poorly thought out message.
Another inexpensive way to market your business with a limited budget is to spend time on making personal connections with your customers. Pick up the phone and call your top customers to thank them for their business. While you have them on the phone, let them know about new products you have they might be interested in. Or, send them an email instead to show your appreciation for their continued business. Spending time on making personal connections with your customers will help increase overall business!
Networking isn’t everyone’s favorite cup of tea, but it’s one of the most important things you
can do when business is slow. Personally, it’s my favorite way to connect with new clients. These events are often a good source for sales and the perfect place to get to know more like- minded, professional people.
Something to keep in mind while networking is quality over quantity. You could make it your goal to talk to every person in the room at least once and they’ll forget about you tomorrow. Or, you could have more meaningful conversations with fewer people that leave long-lasting impressions. While socializing, remember the basics of any relationship – listen more than talk, be focused and present while conversing, and be interested in what the other person is saying. Afterward, make sure you follow up with them with a friendly email or a personalized note card.
Lastly, don’t forget to practice your 30-second elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief commercial about you and is often used among professionals during networking events. It should be a memorable, 30-second description of what you do or sell. Ultimately, it should convince someone that they need to talk to you a second time. An elevator speech doesn’t need to be long or people will lose interest; capture their attention with your brief, 30-second explanation and if they come back for more, dive into the specific details you’ve been dying to share!
Although time consuming, social media is another excellent area to focus on while business is
slow. It’s inexpensive and can reach a much larger audience. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest are wonderful tools because they allow you to stay connected with your audience. Social media gives you the opportunity to listen to your customers, determine what they want, and offer them solutions. Having a successful social media page is all about engagement and content! Make your posts interesting and ask questions to get feedback. Instead of posting just a picture of something you do… post a picture and ask a question about it. For example, at Harvest Print we can handle printing popular promotional items, so we could post a picture of a recent product we’ve done and ask something like, “what’s your favorite promotional item” in order to increase activity on our social media account.
As you can see, there are plenty of inexpensive things you can do when business is slow. Don’t panic when business inevitably slows down and make sure to focus on marketing, networking, and your social media accounts while you’ve got the extra time. All the activities mentioned will ensure that once consumers are ready to spend their money, your business will be first on their mind!