5 strategies for dealing with the downturn in your business!
Turbulent times in Asian economies are compounding a downturn caused by Trump`s reckless trade war. We have 5 simple strategies for ensuring you not only survive but thrive!
1. Look after the customers you have
It is a lot easier to keep a customer than to get a new one, so you need to keep hold of those precious relationships during tough times. People move jobs more frequently in tough times as departments and organisations are restructured. That can be an opportunity if your brand is front of mind. It also means you need to be building multiple relationships in each business so you keep hold of those precious orders.
Top tips for promotional products that clients will take with them to their new job: good quality pens, powerbanks and chargers, mugs.
2. Fight for your marketing budget
It is true that marketing budgets are the first thing to get cut when times are hard. But those budgets are your main route to better times. And the smart marketeers know that everyone else is cutting their budgets, so every dollar you spend is going to reach more people. Maintaining your budget will soften the dip, and allow you to climb out of it quicker.
But don`t squander your budget! Your customers are going to be more cautious with their purchases, so you want to use longer-term, relationship-based marketing strategies. Increase your customer calls, reach out to consumers more frequently, give them a gift, keep your brand in the forefront for when they DO make the purchase.
Top tip: As we get towards the end of the year, calendars are a superb way to establish that relationship. If you land a nice calendar on the customer`s desk, it will be there for the next 12 months!
3. Win NEW customers!
Fortune favours the brave. During times of uncertainty, you have a golden opportunity to talk to the customers of your competitors and grow your market share. Clients are often more receptive to change, and consumers are looking out for bargains. Consumer businesses can use gift-with-purchase techniques to boost sales and get new regular buyers. B2B strategies need to focus on value for money, and helping clients to be successful during the slump. You want to have a great set of print and promotional merchandise collateral as leave-behinds for your customers.
4. Look after your staff
In many businesses, your people are the most important asset. During a recession morale can decline, particularly if you have to make some tough decisions in the business. All the more reason to treat your staff well and show them how much you do value them. Staff rewards typically return $50 for $1 invested (in terms of greater productivity, reduced recruitment costs, and other factors).
Team-building activities, where the whole team gets individually printed t-shirts in their size, show that you care and are focused on the business succeeding for everyone.
Top tips for rewards: trophies and engraved pens for top performers or length of service.
Top tips for gifts for all staff: t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, bags.
5. Focus on the fundamentals
You are looking after your customers and your staff, but you also need to focus on the bottom line. Keep your cashflow and budgeting in order (for small businesses), and ensure that you are still managing costs. Reducing static inventory, removing warehousing costs, and keeping the margins as healthy as possible. You also need to maintain your reputation: being a good corporate citizen when times are good will not wash with customers if you ditch those ideals when times are hard. So keep focused on sourcing your promotional merchandise ethically, and controlling waste.
We hope these strategies give you some food for thought. BrandHK has supported clients through good times and bad for over a decade, helping them to attract new customers, reward loyal clients and motivate staff.