You’re good. You’re company’s good. You’ve got great products. Now’s the time to let people know it. It is easy to stand out when half the world is afraid and hiding.
Many businesses are thriving. People are going to less expensive restaurants that deliver wholesome, reassuring, value. People are going for therapy to help them cope with their 401k statements. People are going to classes to learn new skills and increase their marketability. Alternative energy is thriving. There is opportunity when you look for it.
Now is also an excellent time to build infrastructure so you are positioned strongly now and as the economy improves. You may want to invest in new product development, in a new building, in new systems, or new advertising. Ad space is being discounted, and you can often make creative deals that benefit you and the media.
This is also a great time to experiment. If you have spare capacity in sales, try a new market. If you have extra inventory, try packaging it in a new way. This is a good time to sell value, so you may want to try repositioning your product. Not everything is going to work, and that is ok. When I ski, I always tell myself that if I don’t fall, I’m not trying.
Brainstorm with your staff, clients and friends. Encourage far-out ideas. Get a bunch on the wall or the back of a napkin, then think of the worst that could happen, general logistics, profit potential, and then prioritize.
Some ideas from our clients:
- Build a new building so that they can say they have the largest inventory of hard to find wood in the United States.
- Go from advertising in a print trade magazine monthly, to advertising in two print trades every other month (both owned by the same publisher to get them to agree to this) for the same cost. In our case one is aimed at landscape contractors and the other is aimed at landscape architects, so they are expanding their target markets. We also asked for an ad on the publisher’s web site for the year and an ad in their email blasts as a bonus and received it.
- Do a case study on a client in a field where you want to expand. Go to that industry’s meetings and offer to be a speaker. Carry copies of the case study with you and use it as an example of what you do.
- Redesign your web site to look more professional as your marketing becomes more aggressive. Tie web site into email, direct mail and fax marketing, a Google AdWords campaign, and Amazon affiliate marketing.
- Use web site to automate manual procedures to reduce expansion costs.
People like to be associated with winners and when they see you moving forward assertively, it will make them more comfortable working with you.
Cindy Hermann is a partner in Mogul Marketing, a strategic marketing/ communications firm in East Chatham, New York. Mogul Marketing specializes in business-to-business and non-profit marketing, photography, market research and web development for aggressive clients. Cindy is on the board of the Capital Repertory Theatre and the Consulting Alliance. She is active in the Albany-Colonie Chamber and the entrepreneurial community.
Mogul Marketing, Inc
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