Communication is important in all business cycles but it’s even more important in a recession-type environment.
You need to inspire confidence
In a downturn people get nervous. They listen to the doom and gloom spouted by the so-called experts who never saw it coming but who now claim to know everything. Negative energy is contagious just as positive energy is. The more people talk of recession, the more they get nervous, the more they tighten their purse strings, the less business is done, the more people point to a slow down as evidence and so the cycle feeds on itself.
You can make a difference
As I said in my last post, business sentiment is what you think! So are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution? To be part of the solution you need to communicate the positive aspects of your business to your customers in ways that will help them see how that will be a positive for their businesses.
Newsletters, e-Newsletters, positive advertising messages, upbeat web content and blogs
These are all ways you can start to turn around the negativity in the business community. And no, I don’t have my head in the sand. I know there is a problem with US and UK banks but there are many other ways to do business when cash is short and as long as you keep proper records for tax purposes and declare such transactions properly you’re unlikely to have problems – ask your accountant. There are even organisations that will help you do this e.g. Bartercard (and no they didn’t pay me to say that. I have no affiliation with them at all although I did use them and they were a client when I had a business in Tasmania years ago.)
Not sure what to say, how to frame these thoughts into your communications?
That’s where I come in. I know that’s a shameless plug but hey, it’s my blog and I do really believe I can help you bring the positive to the fore in your business communications. You know where I am. Have a good week.
Happy New Year to all… Now, let’s not waste time, let’s get right into it. 2009 is not for the faint-hearted but it’s also not the time to put your head in your hands and think about retiring!!!
One person’s obstacle is another person’s challenge…
I hear a lot at the moment about obstacles to be overcome and hurdles to be jumped. Sounds very tiring and a little depressing and it really isn’t helpful. Now a challenge, well that’s different. Challenges help us grow – personally and business-wise – because they help boot us out of our familiar rut.
…and one person’s challenge is another person’s opportunity!
Do a little digging into history and you’ll find that while some businesses do go to the wall in a recession there are many that grow and prosper. In fact the last business I had started from nothing in a recession and went on to become a very successful business. Why? Because it offered something no one else did. Sure other people offered the same services we did, they just didn’t co-ordinate them and make life easier for the customer the way we did. This predicted downturn is full of opportunities for those who want to find them.
What opportunities are there for your business?
While I can’t answer this question without knowing the specifics of your business I can offer some generalisations to help you find them – or you can hire me to be more specific :). In a recession people are looking for several things and anything you can offer that helps them will help your business.Take a look:
- they want their business dollar to give them the best possible value
- they want to retain their existing customers
- they want to find new customers
- they want to streamline their operations and make them more cost-effective
- they want to maximise their repeat business
- they want as many referrals as they can get
- they want their message to reach AND motivate their target audience to buy
So what’s new?
Don’t people always want these things? Well they should but when business is good and it all just falls in your lap there is a tendency to pay little or no attention to these things. After all the business just seems to run itself. Recessions are good, they help us become less wasteful, more efficient, offer bettter customer service, better products etc., etc.
Communication – it’s a two way street
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of good communication in this process. In my next post I’ll talk about it in more detail. In the meantime if you want a marketing overhaul, a website review or some copywriting that will help you meet the challenges your business faces then you know where to find me.