By Melissa Haley—So, you have a business plan and are working and marketing according to your plan. As we all know sub-prime lenders left the market, house values started coming down and foreclosures were up. Were you able to adapt your plan to the changing market? If the market changes again tomorrow, what do you do?
Do you continue on in the same manner, according to your business plan? Or, do you look at the current economic conditions, current market status and begin to scrutinize your plan? What worked for your business 6 months ago may not be working today. Who were your clients then? Are they still in the market? Who are your clients today?
This industry is a dynamic one, with the game changing rules frequently. What was working previously may not be working in the current climate. It’s time to re-visit your game plan. It’s now halftime and you need to step up to make some plays to continue in the game and win.
Some of the first areas to tackle are marketing, product offerings and service area. Are there marketing opportunities that weren’t available or feasible before that can now be put into place? Are you maximizing your advertising budget? Have some previous clients left the market? Remember that as one door closes, another opens. Even when another door doesn’t open, there may be a window for opportunity. Look for the openings.
Marketing is something that should be done by habit, every day. Set a marketing goal and stick to it. As you incorporate marketing into your daily routine, it becomes easier to do. Never stop marketing. Knock on doors, leave flyers, make phone calls. Even if you hear “no,” don’t stop trying. Go back to that company that said no last month, their situation may have changed or may be changing in the near future where they do or will need your services.
Is there a new product or service you can offer to your existing clients? Perhaps you were not able to print documents previously and have now been able to fund the purchase of a quality laser printer. Let them know you have more capabilities at this time. There’s nothing wrong with sending a postcard or making a phone call to let your existing clients know that you have more to offer. In fact, it’s good business.
Have you changed your service area or hours? It’s worth finding out if there is a shortage in a particular area that you may be able to cover. The distance may be greater than you currently provide coverage of, but the opportunity may justify the added expense. Research the possibilities.
Don’t be tricked into thinking your business plan is good enough. As market conditions change, your business needs to change. There is only one way to grow and that is by adapting to the business climate.