Tough times: How to grow in a poor economy

The news television channels can be a depressing place right now. They are full of headlines about inflation, struggling businesses and everything else you don’t want to see.

All of the above is especially tough to swallow for small business owners out there. It feels like it’s just a matter of time before these macroeconomic elements start to unleash shockwaves through these smaller firms, making growth, and perhaps even survival, difficult to accomplish.

While we don’t hold all of the answers, today’s post reveals some of the best ways your company can grow when the chips are down and global consumer confidence is low.

Focus more than ever on your existing customers

The first thing you need to do when times are tough is focus on your existing customers. They are the ones that have already bought into what you’re selling, and they are much more likely to continue to do so even when the economy is struggling.

This means that you need to do everything to keep them happy. Offer them discounts, keep them updated on your latest products and services, and go above and beyond to ensure that they are always getting the best possible experience from your company.

If you’re directing your budget away from these efforts, you’re asking for trouble. Remember, new customers will be even more expensive to acquire in this climate. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on something that already works.

Target the competition’s customers

If you’re having trouble acquiring new customers, a great way to grow your business is to target your competition’s customers.

This is especially effective if your competition is struggling. Their customers will be looking for a new provider, and if you can convince them that you are the right company for the job, you can steal from your rivals.

To do this, you need to make sure that you are marketing yourself as the obvious choice for those customers. This means having a clear USP and ensuring that your marketing messages are aimed squarely at the competition’s customers.

Get creative with your pricing

Your pricing structure is something else you can leverage.

One option is to offer discounts. This will make your products and services more attractive to price-sensitive customers, and it will also help increase sales volumes.

Another option is to introduce new pricing models that are more flexible and tailored to your customers’ needs. For example, you could offer a pay-as-you-go model that allows customers to only pay for the service that they use.

Focus on cash flow

In a tough economy, cash flow is king. This means that you need to do everything to improve your cash flow position.

Yes, everyone is struggling, but you have immediate bills to satisfy. Even with flexible payment terms, it might be the cost of buying products. Or, it could be about some of the more fundamental expenses, such as your monthly public liability insurance premiums.

The simplest way is to tighten up your credit control procedures. This means chasing up late payments more aggressively, and it might also mean introducing new measures, such as deposits, to ensure that you are always getting paid on time.

Diversify your products and services

If you’re only selling one product or service, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. This is a risky strategy, and it’s likely to backfire in a tough economy.

Instead, you need to diversify your products and services to be less reliant on any one particular offering.

Not only will it make your business more resilient, but it will also give you more opportunities to grow. After all, if one of your products is struggling, you can always fall back on your other offerings.