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Recession Proof Strategies| USGEA

Recession can be a problem for your business. It can be an opportunity to gain new clients and boost your sales.
Following are the plans to handle economic uncertainty and which will help you to come out on top of your competitors when the economic tide reverses.

Provide outstanding services to customers
When money's tight, clients expect more for their dollar, not only a high quality product, but also exceptional customer service. If you want to keep their business, you must keep them happy. Refine your customer service strategy to insure that every step from taking the order to delivering the product is client-focused and effective. You may want to conduct a customer satisfaction survey or two in order to make sure your customers' needs are being met. Also consider making your service more valuable to clients with faster delivery times, wider selections, or more flexible payment terms.

Intensify marketing
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make during periods of economic slowdown is to cut back on marketing and advertising, doing this could be most detrimental to your business. Instead, the marketing needs to be more aggressive and more comprehensive than ever. Offer discounts, freebies, or other extras as incentives. You may also want to set up a referral reward program for clients as part of your marketing efforts. Start by contacting past clients and simply touching base.

You also need to re-evaluate your current marketing methods. If you are not seeing some increase in sales from every dollar you spend on promotions, then you are wasting valuable revenue. Whether you use billboard ads, direct mailings, or the yellow pages now is the time to make sure your current marketing is cost-effective and efficient. You have absolutely no reason to worry about the economic slowdown or competition once your customers 'experience' that you are in unique selling position.

Diversification
Diversification may be your business' best friend. The more services you can offer, the more clients you will be able to find. If you primarily create business plans or marketing collateral for big name clients, you could expand your services to include press releases, sales letters, web content, or other business-related products and services. And you can diversify even further by repackaging your product and selling it to a different clientele.
You could host a seminar or workshop on writing business plans. Each person who attends may not be able to pay your normal fee, but combined not only may you earn more; you could also score a few new clients. No matter what service you offer, with a little innovative thinking you should be able to develop several new offers. All of which will help keep you ahead of your competitors.

Adopt cutting edge technologies
One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competitors is by keeping up with current technology. So if you are not familiar with customer relation management software or even e-mail marketing, now is the time to do so. You can put your business online, advertise with well-placed banner ads, send out information to potential clients via e-mail, outsource some of your administrative duties, manage your payroll, or establish an affiliate program all on the Internet.

Current technology can help your company run more efficiently and more cost effectively, plus it can open access to clients in the next city, in another state, or even enable you to compete in the global marketplace. You'll have the potential to contact millions of people who would otherwise have never heard of you or your product and in a slow economy you need all the exposure you can get.

Get new ways to improve
You should be constantly re-evaluating not just your marketing plan, but all of your business strategies including policies, pricing, and employee performance. The idea is to eventually be as efficient and effective as possible so your company runs smoothly and profitably. Look closely at your competitors. Talk to business leaders you respect. Read business management books. Experiment solicits feedback from your workers and customers. By doing several of these things you will accumulate a wealth of knowledge and experience crucial to the survival of your business.

Stay focused
Every cutback, every decision, every improvement you make now must be beneficial not only in the present but more importantly in the future. Think about this before you slash prices, fire employees, cut overhead, or lower your standards. In order to stay successful, you must always keep an eye on your long term goals and objectives. You will hit rough spots but do not get bogged down in the present. Do not make this mistake. Instead keep your eyes on your target. Stay focused.

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