About five years ago, the U.S. economy took a hit from which it is still trying to recover. Most businesses felt the effects of the hurt economy, and many businesses found themselves downsizing or closing altogether. Despite the rough times, some businesses found ways to survive, and some entrepreneurs actually used the time as an opportunity to create start-ups. This post will discuss a few ways business owners kept their businesses alive, based off an article from The New York Times titled “Strategies for Growth, Even in Down Times.”
Offering New Products
If your business is struggling, brainstorm ideas for new products that could help target a new crowd or excite consumers to buy from you. Society is constantly looking for the newest thing. People want what’s trending, what’s new and exciting, and what the next best and most impressive thing is. Offering a new product can be expensive, and sometimes there’s not enough resources available to do so. If you can’t afford to offer a new product, try improving your current line. Add something to the product that makes it “new” or stand out a little more. Spice up your product and attract more attention.
The article tells of a company that sells sandals, which experienced a cost increase to make their product and needed to stay afloat to save their business. Instead of developing a new sandal line, they added small jewelry that could be used to decorate the sandals and wear around ankles. The plan worked. Sometimes you don’t have to revamp what you are already doing, but simply get a little more creative and add to what has been working for you.
If the market is not generating enough incoming revenue for your business to currently succeed, try expanding to overseas markets. The same business that sold sandals, mentioned above, also decided to expand their business overseas. By finding partners and selling through local distributors, the business found that it was able to sell its products in foreign markets at a reasonable cost. The sandal business experienced growth by its venture overseas.
Changing Your Marketing Strategy
If your current marketing and advertising isn’t producing the results you want, you have a few options. Two of those include modifying who you’re marketing to and how you’re marketing. The article tells of a business that was hit hard by the economic downturn and met to brainstorm ideas to survive. The group decided that they needed to adjust what potential industries and clients they were going after. After some adjustment in their marketing, the company experienced a 40% growth last year as a result of their efforts to change their marketing strategy.
Another company mentioned in the article spent millions to revamp their technology so that they could appeal to a wider and different market. With their projections, they will soon break even and appeal to a much wider market, which will soon increase their profits exponentially.
Depending on the current size of your business, you can apply the above-mentioned strategies at whatever level is most applicable to you. Your business may not require that much change at the moment, or you could be in desperate need of anything that will work to help your company. Whatever your situation is, there is always room for improvement. Even if you’re not a large business, like the sandal business mentioned above, you can add to or modify your current product line or services, you can expand to other markets, or you can modify your current marketing strategy. It is possible to succeed in today’s economy – many small businesses are doing it.