August 18, 2014

How Small Business Can Deal with the Stagnant Economy

As Washington remains deadlocked on every issue from healthcare to the minimum wage, the economy continues to trudge on like an old mule caught in mud. The DOW and NASDAQ averages look schizophrenic. Every industry that announces gains for one quarter sees losses erase the gains within a few months. How are small businesses supposed to stay afloat when the economic recession shows no signs of loosening its iron grip?

Keep Improving Services, but Find Ways to Do It on the Cheap

Consumers have lost patience, and are no longer satisfied with the excuse, “It’s the economy.” Businesses have no choice but to thrust onward with improvements in products and services, but there are ways to offer more for less money. For example, you can free workers to be more productive by hiring an answering service to handle inbound calls. Or, consider an outbound call center to handle marketing efforts so your current staff can stay focused on development and implementation of new products and services.

Lengthen the Timelines for Plans, but Don’t Axe Them Altogether

Plans to upgrade facilities or open new branches might be delayed, but don’t give up on them completely. If all progress stops, it will be harder and more costly to restart them in the future, when things finally are brighter. ¬†Instead, rework current expansion and progression plans to allow for a longer deadline. Perhaps the facilities upgrade can be done within five years, instead of two, and the new branch could open in 2018, instead of 2015.

Never Stop Advertising

Advertising and marketing is expensive, but that’s the one thing you cannot afford to give up on when the economy is tough. Companies that continue to advertise will outpace those which cut back on marketing efforts, and will be stronger when consumers do start spending again. Keep a staff of qualified ad and marketing specialists, and give them as large a budget as possible, because they will help you through the slumps by bringing in customers when your competitors aren’t.

Though no-one can predict when the end of the recession will finally arrive, having a plan in place means your business will survive to see the future.