Have the challenges of running a business become all too familiar to you? Are you afraid of the big bad recession huffing, puffing and threatening to blow your small brick and mortar business into oblivion? Well, let’s just face the cold hard facts — it is not easy to run a business. There are just so many different factors to consider. Are you doing enough to ensure your business is sustainable and scalable? Is your revenue strategy solid and fool proof? Are you able to retain and regularly attract new customers? If you are looking to defibrillate your small business, either to keep it afloat or to grow and expand, here are some useful tips on how you can recession-proof your business and prepare it to weather any storm.
#1 - Build your Brand
Branding is an essential ingredient in growing any business. It not only gives a business its professional and polished image but it also creates an important first impression to potential clients. If a company’s brand is outstanding, then the first impression will be a positive one and that impression is sure to last, a long time. So spend some time thinking about a good brand that is in line with your company’s core values and what it offers. A good and thought out branding increases your company’s visibility and sets you apart from your competition. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure you make a killing on the first.
#2 - Create a Website
We are living in what’s called a digital age and it is currently taking the world by storm. Anything and everything is now available online at a simple touch of a button. Imagine the amount of sales and revenue you could generate if your customers have ready access to all the products and services that your small business offers. A good website could do, just that for you. A professional website that represents your company’s image with comprehensive information about the products and services you offer— is crucial in giving your company its much needed credibility. With dozens of website templates readily available and easily customizable, creating a website doesn’t have to cost much money. All you have to do is create content for your website and include a short intro, detailed information about the product or service you are offering and a contact page so that potential clients know how to reach you. The more transparent you are with what you offer, the more credibility you gain and the higher your chances of sales conversion.
#3 - Build your Online Presence
a. Social Media
With the advent of the digital age, it is not enough to just have a good brand and an interactive website. While a good mix of both is essential, it is also important to incorporate digital marketing elements into your overall marketing strategy. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to start. Establishing an online presence is imperative in growing and keeping your business visible and relevant in the eyes of potential customers — and this cannot be stressed enough. So the only way your business is going to gain better traction and visibility is for it to be a part of this online community. Why? Because all your competitors are doing it!
So, what are some of the social media platforms you can explore? Sign up for a Facebook page or and an Instagram account — absolutely free. Create 2 -3 posts per week to generate some buzz around your business and its offerings. Such social interactions might seem trivial but it adds a personal touch, making your business more relatable. Or if you have a small budget set aside, spend on Facebook ads monthly to boost your posts. Fine tune customer demographics to improve targeting and ensure your posts reach would-be customers, on their news feed. Sales conversion is sure to increase with an engaged audience.
b. Network, then network some more!
If you haven’t already gotten yourself a LinkedIn account, you may want to move this up your to-do list. The power of online networking has never been this easy to acquire. LinkedIn’s dynamic interface creates networks for you based on your business interests and operations — AND helps you make important connections to people of similar business interests. How awesome is that? It also recommends potential synergies with like-minded partners and creates opportunities to help diversify and expand your business. The more you grow, the stronger your brand, and the more clients and customers want to be associated with you.
#4 - Communicate then Connect
A business is destined for success if it is able to communicate effectively with its customers. Getting regular and constant feedback gives you important information like customer spending habits — just the kind of analytics you need to fine tune your business strategy. Generate simple surveys, obtain ratings from customers or even go as far as conducting face to face interviews with loyal, long–term customers. The trick here is to obtain feedback that is both valuable and informative, and then make amendments to incorporate these feedback into your business offerings. Think about how and what you need to do to tailor make your product or service to specifically cater to your customers’ wants and needs. When customers get what they want, there is an instant connection and this in turn, leads to an increase in repeat sales for your business.
#5 - Build Customer Loyalty - Attract your customers then retain them
So now that you have built your brand and have created a good website, what would be your next step? It’s important to note that expanding your customer base helps to keep your business recession-proof. So how do you find out what your customers really want and then give it to them in a neat package? Would it be great if instead of having to go out there looking for customers, your customers came looking for you? This may sound too good to be true, but not quite. If you are shopping around for a good customer loyalty program that helps you customise your rewards easily and communicate with your customers seamlessly, well, the good people at ConnectUpz have done all the hard work for you. The latest new App to hit the market, QR Scanner Rewards, is just what your business needs to attract and retain customers. Customers on this platform earn instant digital stamps that can be converted into rewards by simply scanning your unique merchant QR code. While your customers are busy shopping, earning valuable stamps to collect on their precious rewards, you gain important customer analytics that gives you valuable insights on customer spending behaviours and demographics. WIN- WIN!
Click here to find out more on how you can create your free merchant account on ConnectUpz!
About the Author
Nisha Abu Bakar is a copywriter and content creator for BeeJaune Consultancy Pte Ltd. Her portfolio includes advertorials, blog articles and social media content.