Even if you’re going through the “best times” in your business, the worst times aren’t ever far away (I know, I’m usually pretty positive, but this is important to think about). It only takes a downturn in an industry, a recession or even a pandemic to create chaos. Heck, you could even be a boat that turned sideways in the Suez canal.
COVID-19 was such a surprise to everyone. Some business owners panicked and other business owners thrived. There are always ups and downs in the business cycle, but I’m here to help you understand that you should be planning ahead for quiet times in your business. It will happen to everyone at some point.
By planning for the worst times, you will have the ability to put together an action plan. If / when you reach a difficult period, you’ll be prepared and you can use the action plan. Emergency preparedness is based on this principle that you fall back to your training and your plan. What are you falling back on?
By planning ahead, you can be prepared for when you reach a time where sales are low… or when the phone stops ringing. This post can help you create an action plan that you can use to get sales when you most need them.
Here it goes. 5 Ways to Plan for Uncertain Times in Your Business
1. Build and nurture your audience
Having an email list is absolutely vital for every business. If you don’t have one, I would recommend starting today. It seems like a lot, I know, but everyone starts at zero. You can start out sending a few emails every few months and work up to a monthly email.
Email is a great way to building better relationships, educate, nurture and deliver value to your audience. The emails that you send will be on topics that are important to your audience. They could be about a specific problem that your audience suffers from.
The most important thing you can use in emails is stories. People love stories. Adding stories and your personality to your emails helps to bring your audience closer to you. They get to know more about you and the team behind your business, which creates a better relationship.
2. Maintain good relationships
Every customer is important. It’s crucial that a customer feels valued. It costs a lot more to find a new customer than it does to encourage an existing customer to spend again. Loyal customers will be there for a business during difficult times. I maintain relationships by connecting with maintenance/care plan clients on a quarterly basis with their reports and suggestions for site improvements. I also offer a chance to connect on Zoom or phone. Your email list and social media are other great ways to stay connected. I also like to comment on my client’s social posts as it helps me to connect with them and stay updated on their content offerings.
3. Create a special offer
At the most difficult times, one of the easiest ways to encourage customers to spend money is to offer a discount. What sort of special offer could you run during “the hard times”? You could offer a bundle, buy one get one 50% off, or any sort of discount. It’s important to think about this in advance. If you have this prepared already, then it’s really easy to sell.
4. Don’t lose focus on the small things
A lot of businesses will focus on high ticket sales and forget about the smaller regular sales that they make on repeat. Remember that the small sales still add up, and they should never be forgotten.
5. Think about the spending you can reduce
At a time of crisis, one of the first things a business will do is look at what spending they can cut. I would like to iterate that marketing should NOT the first thing that should be cut. If you’re not marketing, then who’s going to find you and buy from you?
Do you need help creating an uncertainty strategy for your business?
Contact us to schedule a 1 Hour Small Business Technology Strategy Session with Ashley, which includes a website and digital marketing audit ($350 value).