Published May 21, 2012

Marketing and Sustaining Business in a Tough Economy

The economic recession reached many professions and industries. Even industries that had always provided various growth opportunities became stagnant. However, proper planning, investment, and management of resources can lead to a good performance even if the economic conditions are unfavorable. Here are some tips that will help you in tackling a downturn in the economy.

Giving importance to the client

In any economic climate, client satisfaction is imperative. However, during an economic crisis, the importance of keeping your clients happy increases exponentially. Catering to the specific needs of your clients and fulfilling their requirements, helps you to build trust and create lasting relationships.

It is also important that you act according to what the client is saying. For example, if your client says that he needs to upgrade the CRM platform or refine a database, then powering up the backend with new hardware is not the solution. You should look at the existing system and try to figure out whether tweaking a few settings or software upgrades might do the job; an infrastructure overhaul may not be necessary.

Never stop marketing

To put it quite simply, no one will hire you if they do not know about the products and services you provide. Missing even a single chance to promote yourself is destructive. You might have noticed that most of the restaurant pens have the logo or name of some company or a banking institution. It is important that you brand yourself. You should carry business cards and put professional looking decals or logos on your vehicle. To do that, you can visit a local store that deals in vehicle vinyl and decals. You can do the same for other things like clothing, briefcases, etc.

Assume that you are a client

It always helps if you get into the shoes of the client. You should think that if you had to solve the problems of your own company, then how would you approach that situation. You should see the problems that you have and how would you go ahead with it. You should treat your clients with the same honesty and integrity that you would like to be treated if you were the client.

Marinating your skill level

Maintaining your skill level is not very easy, but you have to realize that it is a must irrespective of the economic situation. New Linux and Microsoft products come out frequently and there's always an opportunity to attend management workshops, marketing webinars, and website design courses. Staying up to date with such classes and conferences will keep you better equipped to handle the problems of your clients. You should also figure out the limitations and the problems encountered in these new technologies and how to work around these limitations.

Never drop rates

Business and consultancy firms have a habit of dropping rates when economy is not doing well. You need to understand that the expenses associated with your services are based on overhead costs such as computers, mobiles, electricity, internet, etc. These expenses will not go away. So lowering your rates will mean that you will further burden yourself financially. That is why, you should focus on providing even better service at the same costs.

Strengthen bonds with vendors

A lot of people don’t value the support provided by vendors that offer IT support and services. Consultants need to customize various systems and complete orders at a rapid rate to gain competitive advantage. Having a good relationship with vendors can help a lot in such situations. When faced with tough financial burdens, vendors will be willing to negotiate the price. But this will only be possible if you have a strong relationship with the vendor. You should understand the promotion and pricing used by the vendor and why it is important. By understanding the needs of the vendor and the product, you will have better knowledge about how you can help your client using the vendor's products.

Other factors

Apart from the above-mentioned tips, it is also very important to make sure that you get your payments on time. If you allow delayed payments once, then it may happen again.

Also, never panic and change your strategy drastically. If it has worked up until now, then there's a good chance that it would work in the future as well. Staying calm and following these tips can help your business in a cash-strapped economy.