I was re-reading a 2001 article from the Harvard Business Review about how to navigate your business in a downturn. It reminded me that so many companies often try to diversify their products and services to capture revenue from new sources. Instead of being distracted by new ventures which deplete your resources and invite new competition, strengthen your core services and ensure you maintain your competitive edge.
Focusing on your core customers is equally important. Reaching out to a wider customer segment is important for growth – but it can take time. For a near-term (and ongoing solution) reach out to your existing customers. Provide them incentives to use your services or purchase your products again. Use email marketing, direct mail and/or telemarketing to communicate your offer and bring your customers back.
In addition, provide you customers an incentive to refer you to their friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is the one of the most credible marketing tools and providing your customers a reason to talk about you to their friends will certainly help drive sales.
To weather the economic storm follow these steps to solidify your core business and strengthen your customer relationships thus allowing you to market smarter.