2010 is in full swing and they tell us the recession is getting deeper. But it doesn't have to be that way for you this year. There are many things you can do to keep your head above water and not get snowed under. Many business owners bury their head in the sand (or should that be snow!) and hope it will get better, but the recession is like an army of doom and gloom foot soldiers, treading all over you. Like any army that is attacking you, you need to fight back! Take control of strategic areas in your business. Marketing, Cash Flow and most important of all, Customer Service. These are the amo you have at your disposal each and every day. If business's are dissapearing it means less competition for you so you have more opportunity to survive.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing and do it better. A great website by Bill Glazer, teaches you to think outside the box. He can help you to look at your marketing differently so yours isn't the direct mail that goes in the bin! I have been a member for the last 2 months and already it is working. My normal Newsletter was changed to a spoof newspaper article and was very well received. Our income increased by 2.5% on the month. You may think, well, that's not much! But it was 2.5% more than I might have had if I hand'nt carried out the excercise and it meant I was getting the work and my competitors were not. Attend networking events. The Best of Croydon events are fantasticly well organised. They have one on the 25th January - make sure you book a place!
Cash flow is always a toughie. Everyone is slower to pay because people are slower to pay them. It has a knock on effect, like a line of Dominos. Don't be a Domino! Chase, Chase, Chase those invoices. If you don't like doing it, get a virtual PA or someone who does. It doesn't cost a great deal, but it could cost you your business if you don't. Get your money paid before they give it to someone else in chain. Keep on top of our debtors list, don't let anyone slip though. A good way to keep payments flowing is to get at PDQ machine so they can pay over the phone. Your money is in the bank within 2-3 days. The FSB have a good deal on with their PDQ machines. Ask them to pay on delivery, then send the invoice 'paid with thanks'.
Customer service is so important. Gone are the days when people had loads of credit to spend and didn't care who they spent it with as long as the job got done. Gone are the days when you could ignore your customers true needs and give them what you thought they should have. Now they are calling the shots and they want to be treated as if they are your only customer. Yes, you will now have to make an effort if you want to survive. Companies who don't, will find themselves slipping from their customers grasp as they look for a company who cares about them. Be the company they want to do business with. Give them a call, see how they are doing. Send an email that doesn't sell them anything, theyll be truly surprised. Let them know you care.
2010 is going to be tough, so get tougher and fight back!!
Member since: 24th June 2010
I have been in business for 4 years now and love what I do. I am married with 3 grown children who have between them, given me 5 fantastic grand-children whom I adore. I love the countryside and love living...