You have no doubt read a lot of tips concerning how to survive in a down economy. I don’t know about you, but frankly I’m not satisfied with survival. I’m after prospering during these times, not just surviving… and by the way, I want my customers to prosper too!
Here are three key principles that Nashville Wraps is using to survive and prosper during these times. See how they can help your business.
Cast a wider net.
I grew up fishing a lot with my dad. He always caught the most fish. His secret little trick was to keep the bait moving slightly. He covered more area and picked up more fish as a result. Sales and marketing is a lot like fishing; when the fish are thinner you need to cast a wider net, cover more area, offer more bait, etc.
Nashville Wraps is offering a wider array of goods and services and will continue this strategy throughout the year and into the future. You may have already noticed some of this in our new 2009 catalog. We are offering many more colors and sizes of paper gift bags and paper merchandise bags as an example. Recently we just launched a huge selection of factory direct gift wrap paper. It is all about casting a wider net.
Look at everything.
When business is good it is often just a struggle to keep up with your customers and top line opportunities. When business gets slower, we can take the opportunity to look deeper and reinvent our businesses for the better. Better for the slow times, and on the up side, much better for the future.
In our case we are looking at how we can better serve the needs of our customers and how we can be a more efficient company in the process. Efficiency directly relates to costs and everyone is about eliminating unnecessary expense. We have implemented several internal routines that eliminate handling, avoid paperwork, or allow software to work for us, and we have a long list of more things like this. We are not intending to eliminate jobs, but to better utilize people in more efficient and productive ways.
Another way to reduce costs is recycling. In 2008 Nashville Wraps began a company-wide campaign promoting recycling paper, plastics and metals. Today as a direct result we have collected over 1,000 cubic yards of materials for recycling and eliminated about 1.5 cubic yards of trash each day. We had two dumpsters and now we only need one… and now we are only paying for one!
Tough one… It is human nature not to want criticism, but the reality is, not a lot gets changed in business, government and life without a catalyst. It could be war, catastrophe, economy and/or criticism. In fact we abhor criticism so much that generally once criticized we will make an effort to change so that we go from criticism to praise.
Turn criticism into praise by taking action to reinvent your business if that is what it takes. Often it is those small things which have been overlooked that have grown larger as your business has grown and are now causing criticism. Our experience is that if one customer complains then 9 others have chosen to remain silent. You may think that a complaint isn’t a big problem, but you may be wrong.
It is also human nature not to complain, and most people, rather than complain or offer constructive criticism will simply shop somewhere else. This is the same reason why Americans as a whole do not write their congressmen and senators*. They think their ideas, suggestions or criticisms go unread or unheeded, but that is not the case. Government as well as business is swayed by the people it is intended to serve.
Do you have criticisms, suggestions or ideas for us? Bring it on then… Feel free to contact us with your thoughts. We always want to provide you good reasons to keep your business with us. So let us know if we need to do anything different.
Robby Meadows, Nashville Wraps
* Yes… I wrote Senator Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker from Tennessee with my suggestions on how the federal government can invest in American business of all sizes with out spending a dime or loosing one. Write your senators and congressmen/women too. Don’t complain about government if you haven’t tried to help fix it. Everyone is in this together, and I especially want our goverment to survive and prosper. That is much better than the alternatives. -RM