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How To Build Your Business In Bad Times Part 2

In part 1 of this article, I introduced you a number of simple, yet effective strategies to boost your business during bad times. They also work very well during the good times too. In this article I’ll add a few more strategies for you to consider. Strategy #4 – Develop Your Marketing Way Beyond What…

In part 1 of this article, I introduced you a number of simple, yet effective strategies to boost your business during bad times. They also work very well during the good times too.

In this article I’ll add a few more strategies for you to consider.

Strategy #4 – Develop Your Marketing Way Beyond What You’ve Done Before

So what does this mean? In hard times, most business’ cut their marketing budgets. In my opinion this is a mistake. What they should do is understand which lines of marketing are working and then work on the ones that aren’t. So, if your website and direct mail work and social media isn’t, it could be that you’re simply not doing it right. You need to test, test, test.

It’s always worth considering introducing other methods of marketing and adding these into your marketing mix e.g

  • How well do you use email marketing?
  • How often do you contact your old customer data base.
  • How often do you ask for referrals?
  • When did you last test your guarantee?
  • How many joint ventures are you currently using?

The other element of testing is to note the steps in your marketing from prospect to customer. Take a birds-eye view and note where the biggest drop off happens in the system. Test introducing an additional step or changing a step completely. This will create results, some better, some worse. The idea is to make each step at least 1% better as the end result is always an increase in customers.

Strategy #5 – Analyse Your Product Line

In business, the old 80/20 rule is still an important consideration. By analyzing your product offering more closely, you may find that one product remains your star performer. Once you know this, why not survey customers who purchased it? You could find out why they like it so much, how it could be improved, what other products/services they use alongside it, would they prefer other options, colour, size etc?

This information can be used to test variations on the product or add additional products into your offering, ones that compliment your star performer better. This can lead to a significant rise in sales by increasing your customer’s average purchase spend.

If you find that customers are purchasing products that you are unable to offer, then why not create joint venture with a company that can supply them? This way you can still make this purchase a profit centre.

These strategies can provide massive profit opportunities…

There are many strategies in business that are rarely used because people do not see there is an opportunity. These can sometimes be the biggest profit centres, simply because your business is not fulfilling a sale. Let’s provide you with an example…

Strategy #6 – Using “Hidden” Assets To Create Profit Centres

Say you have a sales process where typically from 100 prospects you convert say 60% into customers. I appreciate this may be high but stay with me here…

What this means is that you have a superb system that works like a well-oiled machine. This system can be documented and sold as a successful system to other businesses either in the same industry but non-competing countries, or you can test in other industries and then sell outside of your industry. This can be sold under licence which means that you continually get paid for others using your system and becoming more successful.

What if you have developed a new process which makes your production 30% more efficient. Whilst you think this provides great competitive advantage (I agree), it’s also a massive opportunity for a breakthrough profit centre. As staff come and go, it’s only a matter of time before your secret process is passed on to competing firms. Again, consider licensing the process and selling it to non-competing businesses around the world. Yet again, this could be a profit centre where you are not doing the work to gain the reward.

It’s important to provide yet another example here on a slightly different note. This example can work in two ways so pay attention and read carefully…

With any business, no matter how good your sales system is, there are always prospects who don’t buy. Perhaps they don’t have the budget, or your product doesn’t quite fit their requirement. Let’s say, for example, that you sell a high-end product. After, costings have been provided, it’s clear that delivery price is considerably outside your prospects budget. There’s no way you are going to convert, even if you have easy finance options available (by the way, there’s another potential profit centre).

The sale is dead. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot earn something for all the effort that has already gone into the sales process. Why not have an arrangement with a competitor that is unable to offer the same quality of goods as you and therefore has similar products at a different price point that would suit this customer. Rather than your customer doing the leg work and going through the entire process again, you create a joint venture with this competitor to introduce the prospect to them. If a sale is made, you then receive a commission on the sale i.e. you have changed a dead prospect into a profit centre.

Depending on how you initially set up this joint venture, you could receive commission payment every time that customer purchases from this business.

No doubt it’s become obvious to you that if you can create a profit centre out of dead sales, then there is also a reverse mechanism to this. Why not approach companies who cannot handle the smaller sale and ask them to introduce their “dead sales” to you. You pay them for the conversion of a lead.

Why do this?

You have a prospect who has already established they have a requirement at a price point you can deliver on. This is a HOT lead. You have the potential for an easy sale, unless you mess up! How often do you get such easy opportunities? It is certainly worth paying a commission on such sales. If you do look after this new customer, they could become a customer for life and the cost of acquiring them is significantly less.

I’ll wrap this up here. You have so many strategies from this and my previous article to consider, chew on and most importantly, take action on. Nothing happens without action. Start now and create your priority list. If you’re still stuck what to do, then perhaps you need to hire a consultant to work alongside you. However, find one that understands these concepts. They are not theories but real-life, profit enhancing strategies when implemented well.

It’s best to act now rather than wait for bad times to arrive. There’s a potential oncoming storm in Brexit. Whilst this may be two years off, NOW is the time to act. Get ahead of the game and build additional solid income streams for your business which in turn will provide more stability and growth opportunities when times are hard.

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