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Be bold, Sustain the slow economic environment

The Double-dip recession is uncertain and no one knows it is in which cycle. Much in life has its highs and lows, business has no exception. Throughout the world all businesses are dealing with similar cardinal questions. Where to go from here?  How to sustain in low economic environments & recession?

Management of all companies are asking : Is the recession over? What will be the pace of the recovery? Will the capital markets be alive again?  Certainly, there is plenty of uncertainty out there. But in this affluence ambiguity and whatever you may perceive, there is a deeper insight to all these speculations.

Poor firms Ignore their competitors, Average firms Copy while Winning firms Lead their competitors. – Porter

The question every business baton should be asking now is: Is this the time to be an Opportunist? Is this the time to yield allotment from weaker competitors? Is the time adapted to beforehand and apparatus those strategies that you had planned for 4 years ago? Advance warning of this trend was more than a decade ago during the Dot-Com Bubble burst in 2000 [refer: Great Depression in 1929].

If you have a healthy balance sheet, a strong brand, and if you are accustomed to success, the answer may be YES: This is the time to be adventurous, bold and take your business to the next level.

Survive the financial crash

There are a number of initiatives that savvy, seasoned business leaders can use to expand their business irrespective of whether the market grows or not, artlessly by taking  share  from the weaker competitors. Take some of these ideas on a analysis test-drive and see how they feel!

Adjust Prices: If your business is the low amount producer / manufacturer, if you can afford, Cut prices and possible margins in exchange  for new customers.  As per American Marketing Association (AMA)-

Shape the Message, Don’t Slash the Price.

But remember, Prices can consistently go up later, once you have the new customers. Still there is a lot of debate on this.

Reassess you business model : Focus on core business activities and make your money work harder. Collaborate, be creative and prepare for the worst. Understand how customers’ needs have changed and what this means for them. Learn to re-engage them and don’t forget the 80/ 20 rule (Pareto principle). An orgaorganization must adopt and adapt.

Target the real need, try Adapting to the changing markets.

Increase your business budget : Print a new updated brochure, amend your website, access your advertising, dive into amusing media, or reposition your brand. These are all means to let your potential customers know where you are and what you do.

Invest in new markets : Perhaps it’s time now to extend your ability,  add new geographic arena and new demographic. Expand your base of potential gaping customers.

Fish where Your fishes are !

Again, going after competitive customers, it is important not to lose sight of securing one’s own customers. Retention strategies are vital. When the economy is booming, lost customers can be replaced, but it is next to impossible in a weak economy.

Add new product lines : This is a wonderful time to add a New Curve to what you already offer. It might be a good time to add a higher priced product that will allow you to up-sell to existing customers or add a lower priced line that will allow you to expand your reach.

Differentiate through Innovation with a product or service, Refine your target audiences.

Expand your locationsCapture market share by opening stores in locations that have previously been dominated by the competitors.  There are affluence of vacancies, and landlords are accommodating to cut deals.

Buy a competitor : The last four years have been a tough bread-and-butter environment. Do not assume that because you are doing great that all your competitors are enjoying your same success. Identify your appropriate targets (competitors) and then go after them. In all likelihood, you will be doing them a favor and some of them might be very happy to get an offer from you and feel blessed.

The key to success in this economy is supporting the Short term, and managing your Long term. Marketers need to run a Sprint and Marathon simultaneously –  Costopulos

No doubt, being an opportunist takes major quantities of intestinal fortitude, money and leadership. But these are the times when you can really make a difference. Get your business plans together, call your banker and get moving.

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By Vinitt J

Masters in Business Management he currently works as a marketer and a strategic planner. Loves to travel and write about technology, business trends and the ever changing world. He is effortlessly funny and consistently engaging.

Leave Your Comments

5 comments on “Be bold, Sustain the slow economic environment
  1. Andrew on said:

    It’s one thing to sit tight and see whats happening out there and quite another to be the one making things happen. In tough times, it is always wise to adapt when even the most successful organizations are facing challenges.

    • Vini J on said:

      I know, there’s no such thing as a Perfect plan. We all speculate to fight the economic downturn. Selling isn’t fun anyway!

  2. Devjit on said:

    With regards to the point of cutting prices, I would like to state that cutting prices may not always be a good point. The reason being cutting prices will significantly affect the profit line as the as the cost of raw materials, needed for the manufacturing process is going up.
    Also, the current economic scenario does not promote the opportunity even to big companies to lower costs and thereby decreasing profits, while the cost of production is going up, due to various macro factors.

    • HotWire on said:

      @ Devjit: agreed, the question is Should you lower prices during recession? Is it a good strategy? May be! A recession is the time to be even more diligent about protecting your brand by staying consistent. Intelligent cost cutting is always welcome though.

  3. John Quelch on said:

    Customers will be shopping around for the best deals. You do not necessarily have to cut list prices, but you may need to offer more temporary price promotions, reduce thresholds for quantity discounts, extend credit to long-standing customers, and price smaller pack sizes more aggressively. In tough times, price cuts attract more consumer support than promotions such as sweepstakes and mail-in offers.