As a small business owner, you already know that staying competitive, on a normal day to day basis, can be challenging. You want to give your customers a good value, but you also need to turn a profit. And just as you’ve worked that out, inflation hits, wallets close and your sales drop, while your overheard costs rise. It’s affecting businesses across the board, with a growing trend of prices going up, and you’ve likely toyed with the idea of raising your prices, if you haven’t made the move to do so already.
a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.
Is raising your prices really the answer, though? By raising your prices you’re contributing, at least in some small way, to inflation. It’s a problem that just gets larger as it’s passed along. On top of that, you stand to lose customers who are also experiencing less buying power and rethinking a lot of their purchases. For those reasons, raising prices, may hurt your business in the long term.
How can you stay competitive and profitable in an unstable market?
Look at your goods or services. Really brainstorm and think, ‘is there a way to add additional value to my offerings?’ Perks, discounts, freebies, bundles, trials-the list goes on. You may be wondering why we’re starting at giving more? The answer is simple. Some customers have stopped shopping, and more are sure to follow. This added value is meant to speak to those who are already considering walking away from your business because of finances. Inflation makes customers make their financial choices based on priority and value. Adding value lessens the likelihood of your customers “taking a break” from your business.
Increase Marketing Efforts
You need to get your sales numbers up during a period of inflation, not simply maintain, because you do not know how everything will look financially one, two, three months from now. Getting your numbers up helps to cushion yourself against the unknown. If you have the budget to increase your advertising or sponsorship opportunities, consider doing so. Consumers are looking for strength and dependability no matter what you are selling. They need to know that you’re on solid ground and marketing helps with that.
If you do not have the budget to increase your advertising, opt for free ways to market to the masses. This is a great time to use your company blog and post articles that are relevant and of interest to your clientele. Share your articles on social media. Host a giveaway for your readers, and utilize your mailing list to keep in touch with those who have supported you so far. Use the tools that you already have to get in front of your potential and return customers.
It’s a Numbers Game, Baby.
One thing that many years on this earth have taught me is that in the end, most things are about numbers. During a period of inflation, you have to grow your numbers. You need new customers-but how do you simply get new customers? Well, if you’re following my advice so far, you are adding valuable perks to your offerings and you are active on your blog and social media. You’re already working to increase your numbers, but there’s another area that you might need to address. That’s service.
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “People rarely remember what you did or said, they remember how you made them feel.” It’s true.
People will hold you in a higher regard if they have fond memories of dealing with you and your business. They’ll come back when it may not quite fit the budget and they will be loyal because of how you made them feel. Even if you think your service is impeccable, look a little closer. What small efforts and changes can you make that will make your business more personal and thereby creating a bond with your customers? Something as small as remembering a birthday or following up after the sale to see how they feel about their purchase and your offerings can create a lifelong customer out of someone who only casually wanted to make a purchase.
These are just a few ways that your business can stay competitive and survive what’s coming up next. If you need help with your marketing, website and/or brand, we’d love to help. Contact us today or give us a call 909.255.OLEA (6532). There’s no business too small, and we specialize in helping businesses grow!