In times of economic crisis, keeping a small business afloat can present myriad challenges. As a small business owner responsible for the success of your company, you will undoubtedly face lean times, but, fortunately, there are ways to weather financial storms.
Cash flow problems and lackluster sales oftentimes translate into small business owners feeling the need to first curtail or even eliminate marketing activities. In fact, in 2015, 76% of small business owners reported facing marketing challenges. However, ceasing your marketing efforts can be detrimental to your business, as marketing is a crucial aspect of small business success, and widely considered an essential way of keeping a small business alive.
No. 1: Never stop marketing. This is especially true if trying to make it online. As reported in our previous blog, content marketing educates consumers so that they trust you well enough to give you their business, thus building long-lasting relationships, which are critical for a business’ survival. Marketing is, and should be, a never-ending process, as a small business needs to market any new product and/or service or keep customers updated on existing products and/or services and promotions.
No. 2: Keep your website updated. On a similar note to maintaining marketing, particularly if your small business relies on its website for advertising, it is imperative to ensure the content on your site is fresh. By frequently updating and adding new content you ensure consumers have a thorough knowledge of your products and services, and they will appreciate you for educating them on the benefits of what you offer.
No. 3: Diversify. If your sales have become stagnant, it is imperative you do research to understand why. It is also crucial to find other ways to market your products and services, as well as provide new products and services if necessary to keep your clientele interested, and obtain new customers. Keep in mind, however, that any new product or service should complement existing ones, which also means they can be bundled together to further increase sales.
No. 4: Remain reachable. During times of financial instability, it is imperative that prospective customers be able to reach you, as each call or email missed could result in the loss of a sale. This means small businesses need to have a reliable system of communication in place, such as a business phone system that allows a business to make Internet calls and reach a global market. Some even possess mobility features that enable you to make and receive calls, check online voicemail, make video calls and send and receive Internet faxes.
No. 5: Always be prepared. Having a preparedness plan already in place is essential in order to offset potential financial disaster. Otherwise, you risk not only losing business, but your business itself.
Although following the aforementioned five tips will not guarantee solvency, they can help a small business stay afloat during times of economic trouble, and help foster a sense of positivity. Keep in mind that 72 percent, or nearly three quarters, of small business owners expect to increase revenue by 10 percent this year, and by being proactive and persistent, you can be one of them.