Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nine Things Every Business Owner Should Be Doing in 2009

  1. Getting their marketing systems in order. When the economy is rocking often business owners get lazy about marketing systems used to bring in new clients, boost business from existing clients, and build strong moats around their businesses.
  2. If they have employees, identifying the top talent out there and re-approaching them. They are more likely to be available and amiable between restructurings, underwater stock options, and employer uncertainty, etc.
  3. With competitors and complimentary businesses hurting and credit markets tightened up, both public and private business valuations are low. Acquisitions made now will be far cheaper and, if astutely approached, achieve greater returns over the long run. In some cases, significant returns can be achieved even in the near-term simply by bringing the clarity of more mature marketing systems to a target that did well when the economy was gangbusters but lacked systems useful when things got tougher.
  4. Re-evaluating their unique selling proposition, value proposition, and positioning. Going back to basics and reconsidering what sets them apart and how they communicate this (both in words and in actions).
  5. Taking market share from weaker, distracted, and confused competitors
  6. Boosting direct marketing activities with provable ROIs and cutting vague "branding" activities with less provable ROI (branding can still be a part of the direct marketing activities but it should be a secondary goal).
  7. Reaching out to clients, experimenting with new offers, packaging, and positioning. Also talking to clients, prospects, and others about their concerns, wants, and desires. Even in downturns we all still have needs and wants that we'll pay to get addressed.
  8. Cutting unprofitable relationships (clients, vendors, partners). Good times make us fat, stupid, and lazy. Nothing like necessity to force us to get back into shape.
  9. Stay focused. On what? That's for each one of us to decide. But it's important it be done deliberately or it won't be done at all. There are always distractions but when combined with strong emotions and widespread uncertainty it's even more difficult to decide where we want to go and then keep our eye on it.
Are you doing some of these things? Can you think of others? Drop me a line

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