Five Fruitful Strategies for Staying Profitable During a RecessionWord count: 567 Publishing Guidelines: You have permission to publish this article in an opt-in ezine or on the Web or both, as long as the byline and bio note are included, with all hyperlinks made active. Please let me know where and when you used the article. Thank you.
Five Fruitful Strategies for Staying Profitable During a Recession
by Marcia Yudkin
Look around you and notice that people are still spending. Your Job One in a down economy is to make sure they spend with you. Be creative, resourceful and watchful and you’ll ride out the recession fine.
1. Add a personal touch. Call people you would ordinarily just email. Reply cordially and at more length to those who respond to your newsletter or blog. Reconnect with colleagues on a personal level. When you read magazines and come across an article you know would interest a certain client, rip it out and mail it with a sticky note attached. Such thoughtfulness reverberates much more than you might imagine. If you don’t already send handwritten thank-you notes for referrals, begin now. Staying top of mind helps channel many different types of opportunities toward you.
2. Inject fun into your marketing. Which would you rather do business with, a company that at every opportunity reminded you of the dark cloud over your head, or one that made you smile? Forbes.com reports that both in 2008 and in the recession year of 2002, Halloween spending did not go down, even though most people were tightening their purse strings. According to National Association of Theatre Owners president John Fithian, movie box offices took in more money during five of the last seven recession years than during other years. If you’re normally a dead-serious company, this might be a good time to lighten up a bit by creating a company mascot or passing along some self-deprecating jokes.
3. Shake up your routines. List all the constants in the way your organization operates – its “always”s. For instance, you always work Mondays through Fridays. Is it time to work Tuesdays through Saturdays – or just Tuesdays through Thursdays? You always hold your seminars in Chicago. Would they be more appealing in Charlotte? You always focus on one topic in your newsletter. What if you shared a grab bag of useful tips instead?
4. Keep an eagle eye on collections. Professional debt collectors say that the longer a bill remains unpaid, the more likely it is to become uncollectible. And of course, those who make noise get paid first. Big companies know this. I let my bills sit on the kitchen counter a little too long last month and received automated calls from both the telephone company and the electric company about it, even though the amounts involved were quite small. One tactic that can help your cash flow and prevent worries about uncollectible receivables is to offer a discount – such as 2 to 5 percent – for payment up front.
5. Ask for advice. If you’re not sure which of these tips to act on or how to implement these suggestions, join a peer group – sometimes known as a Mastermind Group – to help you do so. It’s no more complicated than each member of the group having a turn to pose a question, taking down all the suggestions offered, then sharing your thoughts on which ideas seem most promising so the group can propose additional possibilities. When being offered suggestions, don’t interrupt with “No, that won’t work!” or “Tried that one…” Simply listen and identify the ideas you like.
Above all, hang around with people who are determined to enjoy life as usual regardless of what the media say. Attitudes matter! Keep yours upbeat and you have a good chance of seeing your revenues go up, too.
Master marketer Marcia Yudkin, author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books, has been selling information in one form or another since 1981. This article is excerpted from her report, “33 Keys to Thriving During a Recession,” which is available as a free download from www.yudkin.com/recess.htm .