It is a tough economy for most businesses today but what are some of those strategies and characteristics that help some businesses thrive and others merely survive? There are several value-added things that your business can do to insure that you are thriving and not merely getting by.
Customer service in any business, whether you are product or service oriented, is the heart of the matter. Simply insuring that your customers get the very best customer service at all times can be an essential factor in guaranteeing business success. If you do not have the best customer service at all times, your customers will seek out those companies that are providing it. You can hire a call center worker to answer the telephone and take customer orders for minimum wage or you can increase the salary, hire a professional and get a quality person with a proper skill set who will provide exemplary service with a smile. The return on the investment could result in building lifetime business relationships instead of order-entry. You just can’t put a price tag on that return-on-investment.
Characteristics of Thriving Businesses in a Bad Economy
- Able to realize the long term trends that will provide stable work. Businesses involved with healthcare and elderly care is thriving in this bad economy and will continue to thrive because of the aging and retiring baby boomers. They can hire nurses and certified nursing aides to take care of the rising demand. In addition, coupon businesses are doing better than ever simply because everyone is saving the money in their wallets and clipping coupons.
- Those who can ignore the daily bad economic news. We get that the economy is having problems but to hear it on a constant basis will create a negative aura and stifle your own potential for growth. Next time someone tells you the economy is rough, just say “Yeah I know” and continue chugging along while doing the right things such as providing great customer service.
- Cut overhead costs. This is basic business 101 but cannot be underemphasized. Are you paying rent in a location where you are not taking full advantage? Consider moving the business to your home or basement instead. Are you marketing to a wide audience without getting the returns? Switch over to the internet search engines and pay for highly targeted keywords and demographics. Cutting overhead costs is how you survive bad financial times.
- Network with optimistic and knowledgeable people. Similar to ignoring the daily bad news, by putting yourself next to people who are on the same path as you, this will also make you successful.
- Most thriving businesses know their customer needs thoroughly and deliver exactly what they need and want without giving them more than they require and never less than they deserve. You should be constantly in touch with your customer base to insure that their needs are being met. Anyone can tell you, a faithful customer mailing list is the single most important thing any business can have. Every time you introduce a product that meets the needs of your customer base, a sale is not far along.
A tough economy does not have to translate into a cut-throat economy. Simply lowering your price points does not mean you will grow your customer base or your business. Constantly search out ways to educate your customers and potential business contacts on the fine points as to why your business makes good sense for the money. Do you have quality products or services? Document the advantages and spell out the benefits that will convince them that your business is a better choice.
In the end, those businesses that survive and thrive in bad economic times are those who can continue working hard, thinking positively, surround themselves with useful people, and have built a reputation of delivering quality goods and services with exceptional customer service.