For most of us the recent announcement of our economy in recession is old news. But the real question is what are we going to do about it? In this day it is especially important to “Find out what you customers need ”. One of the worst things you can possibly do is just hunker down.
Everyone knows what shape the economy is in, including your employees. Setting some expectations and talking about what is needed will help your team better accomplish transition into what could be a tougher year otherwise . Maximize your cash flow, but not at the expense of new sales opportunities.
Be willing to change.
Look at everything. It may not be business as usual in 2009+. Products that sold well in the past may no longer be viable as the needs and desires of your customers could be rapidly changing, so be willing to look at new products, and new opportunities that make sense. Also identify what are your most profitable current products or services and concentrate more on them.
Move inventory no matter what…
Trying to compete on price alone is a recipe for failure, but if you have slow moving inventory get out of it regardless. Cost recovery or less is better than paying income tax on obsolete inventory.
Here is how we do it…At Nashville Wraps we identify inventory to be discontinued weeks before it is actually put on sale. Typically we make our first price reductions aggressive. No one wants to buy something today only to see it ½ price tomorrow. In the cases when our prices reductions don’t move the products, then we make another quantum leap at the second pass.
Buy fresh new products…
Just because you like a certain style doesn’t mean your customers will, so buy products that best represent your customer’s interests, needs and wants. If you don’t know what this is, then ask! Keep contact information on your customers and ask them for input. Where practical, take new people with you to market. And definitely go to the trade shows to search out new trends, designs and if nothing else get yourself out and about the business of doing business.
If you look at our new Spring catalog (and I hope you do), you will see many beautiful new products full of color, design and value. Our customers want more products made in the USA, more color, more selection, more value and we want it from recycled materials. My point is, our business doesn’t look like a recessionary business; quite the opposite. Yours should not either.
One of my favorite characters is Spock of vintage Star Trek… so I say to you and your business, “Live long and prosper”.
Director of Marketing