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Recession Challenge

Written by: kris | June 30, 2009 3:54 PM in Web Designers & Computer Services | 357 views | Tags: small business marketing , recession , website , hodoorgan design , kris hogan , marketing , advertising

Today, I want to challenge some conventional business thinking. During a recession, I agree that you should make a list of all your expenses that could be cut down or eliminated. What definitely should not be on that list, however, is marketing. In fact, I think that you should not only make sure that marketing is not on the list of expenses to cut back on, but you should get aggressive in marketing. This might sound odd, but if your competition is busy nursing their recessionary wounds, then you should become aggressive in marketing yourself and your products. That to me is pure logic. NOW, more than ever, is the time to have faith in your product or service, to reach out to your customers and to secure your success.

So, what can you do to market or promote your products and/or services? I’d like to give you just a few ideas, a few ideas I hope will get you thinking about other things you can do yourself. And please, by all means, if you have a great idea, I’d love for you to share it with me!

[if !supportLists]1. [endif]Update, Revamp Your Website. And, let me say this, if you don’t have a website, get one! Make sure that all of your services are listed, your contact information is clear and easily found. Now, I am not suggesting that you update your website to be flashier and brighter necessarily, I am suggesting that you make sure your site is easily navigated, information is easily found and that your business comes across clearly and thoroughly. Ask friends, relatives and customers to look at your website and give you feedback.
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[if !supportLists]2. [endif]Offer Special Discounts and Freebies. Prospective clients, who could also be feeling the heat of the recession, will definitely be on the lookout for special offers and freebies to get some financial relief. Give it to them…for a limited time only.
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[if !supportLists]3. [endif]Get feedback. Talk to your customers to find out what new products or services they need and fill up that need fast – before your competitors do.
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[if !supportLists]4. [endif]Increase Your Skills. A recession will provide you with some spare time to increase your skill levels. You can use your newfound skills to provide better service to your customers and in solving their problems. This too, will pay off in the long run.
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[if !supportLists]5. [endif]Give Your Clients the Red Carpet Treatment. Your clients need to be pampered more during a recession, since your competitors will be desperately trying to attract them by offering lower prices.
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[if !supportLists]6. [endif]Get on the Internet. Everyone knows about the internet, but not everyone knows the free ways to get exposure on the internet. You can write an article about your industry, or a product, and submit it to one of the many sites that accept them. At the end of your article, you mention your business and have a link to your website. That link to your website also helps in your search engine optimization. This means your outside link (on the internet somewhere other than your own website) directing to your website will help to promote your website, which will get your company found by the search engines and list you higher/earlier than other websites when someone does a search.

Register Your Company Online. Another slightly time consuming yet important and effective task to do on the internet is to register your company with the search engines. First and foremost, register with Google and Yahoo. It is free to register and creates more outside links to your website which again, increases search engine optimization. It is also another place for customers to find your contact information and location. The more places that information is available the better.

Network on the Internet. Join networking communities on line. You can then create and share coupons, ideas, get some ideas, find new providers for services you need with the possibility of saving money. You connecting to other businesses to network may result in the exchange of leads. And again, there are many FREE ones out there! Do a search, find several and put your business information out there! Just one example of this is MerchantCircle.com.

Start, write and keep up with a Blog. With blogs and social networking sites, there are opportunities to market your business in a different setting. You can find blogs that have an issue that your company can help with. Respond to the blog with your company information. And don’t forget to put your website information there as well…again, for search engine optimization.

[if !supportLists]7. [endif] Have some flyers or postcards made. Use your resources for this, a friend, someone in your network or you can find an affordable place to do it for you. During your slow time, have your employees go to a busy area and hand them out. Now you are putting your message directly into the hands of prospective customers. Make sure you have an attractive offer that will entice people to visit your business. This is not just for storefront businesses, this is for everyone!
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[if !supportLists]8. [endif]Meet, Greet, Exchange. If you’re feeling the pinch of the economy, most likely other businesses in your area/industry are feeling it as well. Find other businesses that don’t compete with yours and see about exchanging some flyers or a banner promoting each other’s business. You can also do this online by doing a link exchange with other businesses. Do not over do the link exchange or that may lower your search engine results. Be selective in who you work with both online and in the brick and mortar world.

Good luck to all businesses out there in all of your endeavors and let’s get through this recession with our businesses in tact and ready to flourish!


Kris Hogan
Hodoorgan Design Inc.
www.hodoorgan.com

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