Does the state of the economy have you feeling down? Listening to negative talk can make you feel hopeless and helpless. When you believe that it won’t do any good to market because no one is buying, you have created a self- fulfilling prophecy: You think no one will buy, so you do not attempt to sell, so you do not make sales.
Although many people have seen their financial situation, and thus their spending patterns, change, there is still a lot of spending going on. And when the economy bounces back (and it will) you want to be positioned to make the most of it.
In a previous article, I talked about finding opportunities in a down economy. Here are some ways you can attract customers to what you have to offer.
Repackage your products and services to make them more affordable. One way to entice customers is with a discount. However, a better way might be to offer a basic version with few or no options at a lower price than the full-featured version.
Cater to do-it-yourselfers. Many people are taking on tasks, such as home repairs, that in the past they would have hired someone else to do. If that is the trend in your industry, sell help to the do-it-yourselfers by selling information products (e.g., books, ebooks, audio and video, etc.), teaching classes (in person, teleseminars or webinars), putting together packages of the materials they need, or otherwise helping them to do it, rather than doing it for them. This can work well for almost any service business.
Reach out to a new market. It is famously said than when asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” Go where the money is. Is there a market that needs what you offer and can afford to pay you?
Reach out to other businesses. Are there businesses in a complementary field that you could team up with to jointly provide services? That automatically cuts your marketing costs by at least 50%, and brings your business to the attention of new customers.
Create new sources of revenue. Diversification is always good, so look for new ways to generate income. Develop a new product that serves the current needs of your clients. Include advertising on your website or blog. (Yes, advertisers are still spending money.)
Invest in the future. If you have the cash, invest in ways that will prepare you to take the lead as the economy improves (e.g., equipment, materials, space, people). If you have more time than money, use the time to position yourself: create content for your website, start blogging, update your marketing materials, fill in the gaps in your knowledge, write a long-term business plan and begin implementing it.