Is the recession over? I keep hearing that it is, but I don’t believe it (that’s my issue). But what matters to our businesses is how our customers feel. In and out of recession, they still have needs and wants, and if we meet those desires, then we are still in business.
In “Are Consumers Ready to Start Spending?,” Anita Campbell says, “While it is possible that consumer spending attitudes will loosen up as the recovery strengthens, it’s also possible this may not happen for some time.” So what’s the small business solution to encouraging customer spending?
Anita gives three suggests to help us do this, including the recommendation that you “position your products and services as good value.” She explains that value “mean(s) your products or services are high quality and lasting, making them a good value for the money. With consumers spending less often, they are being more critical and cautious when they do buy and looking for things that are worth spending on.”
Sometimes, it’s easy to hear advice and move past it without applying it effectively. But take a minute and think about your own spending—especially if you are your target market. Note your behavior, then pay attention to your clients’ behavior. What type of product combination does your client need—what type of product combination do you need—to make spending worth it? Now put a strategy in place to create that combination In your niche, hopefully, your customers feel like they can’t live without you and your targeted solutions.
Keep this in mind, not everyone has been in a recession. It’s our responsibility to know our clients and adjust accordingly. But understanding your client base is just the beginning. You still have to market to them in a way that appeals to that particular group because it’s your marketing that will get them to your doors (off and online).
In the article “Attention Small Businesses: You’re ALL in the Marketing Business,” Ivana Taylor says, “You’re in business to make money (and, preferably, you keep more than you make).” In order to make that money, Ivana believes you need to employ an “attractor strategy.” She adds, “Throwing salespeople out there WITHOUT a marketing strategy and marketing support is what we do when we think we’re in the widget business.”
It’s our job
- to know our business and our clients
- to speak a language that connects with our (potential) clients
- to understand the strategy behind the business, which includes the marketing that keeps us connected to our clients
Put in the time to learn how the marketing piece of your business works. Then establish a system and team to support that strategy. After all, it’s hard to stay in business when very few know how great you are or that they need and want what you have. It’s your marketing that lets them know.
When you finally decide to put on your marketer’s hat (and keep it on), Susan L. Reid, in “5 Steps to Determine Your Unique Selling Point,” has a few tips for you. Your Unique Selling Point (USP) is the thing that makes you stand out. Without it, your potential clients cannot understand the difference between you and everyone else who does what you do. Without it, they can’t understand why they should choose you over anyone else. Without it, they can’t justify the ongoing spending to themselves nor the others on their team.
Susan urges you to find your USP and:
- “Stop putting your business at risk.”
- “Put an end to getting lost in the crowd.”
Plus she gives you five clear ways to get it done.
In the end, your business is about the people you serve, and it’s your marketing that connects you to them.