The cuts have been recently announced and many business owners still fear the recession coming back and how the cuts will affect their business. Will their customers be able to pay them? Will their cash flow stay afloat allowing them to pay their creditors? It’s pointless blaming the government or big banks though for what’s happening down your street and in your small business. Better let us all roll up our sleeves and go make sales!
So how can we keep our businesses profitable in tough economic times?
Sell more to your existing customers – you have already created rapport, trust and proved your credibility to them. Use bundles when selling: as your customers decide to buy one product you can offer them another. You can also add low cost bonuses to your offer that have a perceived high value – ebooks, member-only sites, consulting, e-reports, etc. And never forget about viral marketing on the Internet!
Create joint venture deals with other businesses and cross promote your products or services. You will reach a wider audience at less cost. Trade advertising with other businesses, find complementary products or services through networking. Start an affiliate program for your business. Less money on advertising, yet more guaranteed sales!
Outsource part of your workload. Outsourcing to a freelancer can be a great alternative compared with hiring someone full or part time. This will save on employee costs, taxes, equipment and office space, expansion, and recruitment. Furthermore you will get the flexibility of only using as much or as little of the service as you need – catering for idle periods over holidays and busy times when you have a lot of orders. Why do you need someone helping in your business? Well we can’t all be equally good at everything or equally love all parts of the business. Tasks like bookkeeping, call handling, setting up sales pages, marketing, telesales – can all be handled by experienced and able professionals.
Follow up with all prospects. You will need a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to enter any leads as you find them and keep track of any communications between you by phone, email, fax or in person. Set yourself reminders to chase leads regularly and see if their needs change thus creating you an opportunity to offer your products or services.
Traditionally, company phone systems have been a costly, but necessary means of keeping in touch with employees and customers. PBX phone systems were originally credited with helping to lower overhead costs as they eliminated the need for separate phone lines. Yet, costs for maintaining these systems have remained high. Much like the internet telephony systems available to consumers in their homes, business VoIP services are springing up to serve small and medium sized businesses everywhere. Business VoIP calls are routed through internet wiring for a much cheaper alternative than the traditional phone system. Gone is the need for a receptionist to screen and redirect calls, the VoIP PBX system can be set up to do that for you. You can implement a VoIP system as little as one line and as large as a call centre. Some can work with your existing equipment and phone/broadband. And many will offer extra benefits like call diversion rules, custom greetings, group pickup for many agents, e-fax and e-conference centre, call waiting, voice mail forwarding to email account, etc. Our Pro-iPBX VoIP system has been a lifesaver here in TJConsulting on many occasions! And you can always use your favourite call answering service with your VoIP system too.
Member since: 8th May 2012
I'm a Virtual Assistant offering secretarial, book-keeping and social media marketing services to small businesses and self-employed professionals. I design and write e-newsletters, blogs, websites and...