Small Busiess Marketing Ideas to Help Survive and Thrive in a Recession

1. What are the common mistake most businesses make in a recession?

The most common mistake we see business owners make during a recession is fear based cutting. They get scared, pull their heads into their shells like turtles and cut back on everything.

They cut employees, they cut research & development, they cut personal growth, they cut training and worst of all they cut marketing. The cutting back sends a powerful and negative message both internally and externally. The message screams, “lack of confidence.”

Your prospects and customers are nervous as well. They are looking for confidence and assurance. But cutting back you demonstrate that you aren’t confident in your business. So if you’re not confident enough to fight, why should your customers come to your aide? No one wants to board a sinking ship. Don’t project an image of emergency, instead demonstrate that you are secure and your product/service has value.

2. What are 10 methods you would use to survive and prosper in a recession?

1.Staff up. Seek star talent who have either been downsized or are in a position with a company that is cutting back and creating internal uncertainty. Adding key people who possess skills that you lack can really help you take your business to the next level.

2.Create relationships with industry media. In periods of recession, businesses generally cut marketing and advertising first. Media outlets usually get hit hard. This is a perfect time for the smart, growth-minded entrepreneur to take advantage and make a relationship with the media. Media folks are always looking to get more advertisers on board and media rates are typically lower during a slow down. Strike when the iron is hot, buy advertising space and make a relationship. It’s like the stock market, buy low and win big. When things bounce back, you’ll be in the driver’s seat and have a powerful ally on your side.

3.Increase marketing. People still spend during a recession. In fact statistics show that consumer spending is higher after a recession period than it was before the recession began. So people do spend, they just are more cautious about what they spend and who they spend it with. Consumers are looking for confidence and value before they fork over their loot. By increasing your advertising, and marketing consistently you create consumer confidence in you.

4.Increase value. Another thing consumers are looking for before they give up their precious dollars is value. They want to know they will get more value then they give up in cash. If you focus on increasing your value (not cutting prices, which shows a lack of confidence) consumers will be more apt to spend their money with you over everyone else.

5.Increase your emotional connection. A way to increase the value of what you offer is to figure out how to increase the emotional desire your prospects have for you and your product or service. The more of an emotional benefit you deliver, the more real value your customer will feel your product can deliver.

6.Become an expert. Most business owners are perceived as product hawkers and willing accept they role. If you want to increase consumer confidence and increase the value and emotional connection you deliver, you must become an expert. Experts educate and provoke thought. They enable others to make solid decisions and demonstrate why your product or service is the best choice. Experts deliver value without regard to making sales. They don’t keep score and they don’t stop when they’re busy. Experts are committed and passionate about educating the world and they pursue that goal relentlessly and are rewarded handsomely.

7.Increase communication. Frequency is a major component for building trust, rapport and consumer confidence. The sad truth is most business owners don’t keep in contact with their customers. Frequently the little communication a business owner has with his customer is blatantly promotion or irrelevant. During a slow time, it’s even more critical for you to communicate with your customers on a frequent basis. Bare minimum once a month. Also the communication must be personal in nature and not always promotional. Your communication should be educational, fun, interesting and educational.

8.Increase personal growth. When things get tough, most people cut back on what they believe is unnecessary spending or luxury spending. That frequently includes things like seminars, books, courses and training but improving yourself is not unnecessary or luxury spending. Recession periods are potentially the most critical time for spending dollars and resources on personal growth and creating powerful new contacts that can take you and your business to the next level.

9.Ask for repeat business and referrals. Referrals are a powerful way to stimulate new sales and profits for any business. The hardest and most costly thing to do for any business is to get new clients. During a recession new customer acquisition becomes even more costly and difficult because it takes longer to develop the trust and rapport you need to make the move from prospect to customer. Solution, your past customers already know, like and trust you (or at least they should) so getting them to come back and refer others is the most effective use of your time, dollars and effort.

10. Collect Contact Information. Collecting the contact information of every prospect you come in contact with is essential especially during tougher economic conditions. In order to maximize the value of every lead you generate, you must be able to follow up with them using multiple media (mail, email, fax, phone). If you don’t have this information stored and organized in a database you are squandering dollars and opportunity.

3. What are some little known money-making opportunities?

Write a newsletter. Writing and mailing a personal newsletter to your past customers is one of those highly underutilized money-making opportunities.

The newsletter shouldn’t be all about your business either. It should contain a combination of personal information, technical information and emotional information that draws your customer into a relationship with you, gets them to bond with you and positions you as an expert resource for them.

Think of this in terms of reality television. So many people can’t stop tuning into what’s going on with the people on shows like The Bachelor, American Idol or The Apprentice. You don’t even know these people but week after week you become more drawn to them, more connected and you can’t miss a week. That’s the same connection you want to create with your newsletter audience.

The keys to doing this are consistency and authenticity. Be consistent. Don’t start and then stop. That’s deadly. You lose credibility and your customers lose interest. Be authentic. Show your personality, be who you are and let people into your life. You are a person and people want to know you as a person. When given a choice people do business with family and friend. You need to become family and friend.

Mastermind. There is no better way to make big money faster in your business than leveraging the power of others through mastermind groups.

Taking part in business building discussions with other positive, like-minded and energetic entrepreneurs can be the single biggest and quickest catalyst to a business breakthrough. Taking your business to the next level can be achieved easily when you mastermind.

You get powerful ideas and encouragement from others who have faced similar challenges. When you’re stuck, others can give you their insight on how to overcome those challenges without making the same costly mistakes they’ve made.

Masterminding is about give and take and everyone comes out a winner. Find groups that challenge your ideas not just pat you on the back. If you’re not in a mastermind group…find one or start your own immediately.