Even during the Great Depression in the years leading up to the Second World War there were people who did extremely well while many were barely getting by. Not everyone loses in a recession. Here’s some ideas that may help you not only weather the storm, but come out ahead when things return to “the new normal”. Yes, normal will be different next time around.
First, don’t cut your advertising budget. Second, take a good hard look at where and how you are advertising and make sure it’s working. One area that seems to be doing well during this period is the “As Seen On TV” folks. Short hard sell, a lots of “throw ins” and of course the expected Act Right Now Second One Free.
That’s what it’s going to take. Normal sales copy is not going to cut it. Folks have limited resources and you need to concentrate on getting them to spend some with you. There is hardly any credit available, businesses are suffering from cash shortages and you want to do whatever you can to Keep The Cash Flowing.
If you can cut expenses and keep goods moving at just over the break even point you are at least keeping the business going. Low prices do work. While not always the best way to build a business, being the Low Price Leader may be what keeps you in business after your competition is long gone.
Buy One, Get One Free is the order of the day. This does not have to mean two for the price of one. It can be one and one third of the price of one. Buy one, get the matching purse size free. Buy the half gallon size and get a free pint. Buy Product A and get a related Product B at no charge.
Use coupons. Give a discount or free product. Require a name and address, since these folks are wise buyers and you want to continue to offer them extraordinary values as they come along.
Bundle packages. If Purchased Separately These Items Would Cost so much, but by acting now and taking advantage of our opportunity to get these special closeout goods, you can save an average of 37% off the typical in-store prices of these popular items.
Sell like never before. Be more careful than ever before to use positive, sales closing terms and avoid words that have a negative reaction with buyers. Use the current recession as a selling tool, even mention it, but turn it into a positive for the buyer.
Never Before Were We Ever able to get such quality products as such distress prices. The factory’s loss is your gain. As a wise buyer you recognize the incredible value in what we are offering. You many never get a chance at such prices again. If ever there is a reason to buy now, this is it!
Don’t hesitate to promote to your current and past customers. It’s much easier and cheaper to sell to them than it is to pull new customers in. They know you, they trust you (hopefully) and it’s more convenient for them to buy where they have bought before.
So have some Customer Exclusive offers. If you have an opt-in customer email list, use it. Postcards are also an option. Offer them some actual deals, keep in mind Cash Flow. Sell at cost if necessary, to keep the money flowing. Certainly, you don’t want to do this with everything. Have some products you can make some money on.
While doing this, work at moving out slow moving items, maybe as free goods or bonus products. Trim your inventory, concentrating on high volume sellers that you know will continue to sell, long after “normal” returns. Now is a great time to get people thinking of you as the King of Your Market. Keep them thinking that and ride into the next up-tick as the market leader.
Expand your markets. While others are retrenching, use the cash flow you have created by being the low price leader to work into other channels. There will be fewer, less well financed competition and you may be able to start selling to entire groups you had overlooked in the past.
Remember, perception is reality to many people. So by creating the perception that you are the Low Price Leader or the High Value Leader with many “lowest in the business” items, you can not only keep your business going by keeping the cash flowing, you can position it as The Place to Buy long after the recession Is history.