I’ve been noticing with my coaching clients lately that the current challenging economic times seems to be shrinking their traditional markets. This is having a major effect on their cash flow.
Are you being affected or likely to be affected? If so, then you will benefit from find the answers to the following questions:
- Is this a temporary situation or is it likely to become permanent?
- What is the real cause of the change? For example in Australia, many businesses were affected by the announcement at the beginning of the year of a September election. This was further exacerbated by a downturn in the mining industry that caused customers to hold onto their money and not to spend.
- If it is temporary, when will the market pickup again?
- Are there others markets you could service or products you could supply?
If the answers to the above questions show that there is unlikely to be any change, then you are faced with a smaller pie to be shared out among the same competitors. This means you have to become smarter with your business and get a bigger portion of the available pie.
The following steps will help you gain that bigger portion:
- Conduct a SWOT analysis on your business.
- What are you strengths and how can you capitalize on these?
- What are your weaknesses and how can you improve in these areas?
- Review your marketing and sales performance.
- Are you getting enough enquiries?
- How are these being converted to sales?
- Do you have a website and is it effective ? (sadly less than 40% of small business use this valuable and cost effective medium)
- Are you using social media channels to drive business to your website.
- Can you clearly promote the benefits of your product rather than the features? If you make a statement that someone can say “so what” to, then it is a feature not a benefit.
- Have you clearly identified the real needs of you customers?
- Are you clearly promoting why you are unique and different and therefore why people should deal with you?
In challenging times it is easy to become despondent and work harder in the business. Taking some time out to work on your business, reviewing the questions above and the systems you have will go a long way to gaining a larger share of the pie available.