Thursday, June 20, 2024

Specht: Recession-proof your business by getting back to basics

by BIZ Magazine

Depending where you look, you may or not believe the economy is in a recession. One thing is true, regardless of political leanings, doing business today is challenging. From inflation to interest rates, many are dealing with outside forces they didn’t have in play 6, 12, or 24 months ago.

One of my business mentors, Coach Micheal Burt recently addressed these outside forces in a Facebook Live. He said, “The way to recession-proof your business is to get back to basics.” 

The purpose of a business is to create and serve a customer. While the product, service, or method may vary, that purpose is universal.

In good economic times, the barrier to a buying decision is relatively low. Every dollar spent is not nearly as scrutinized as it is in tough economic times. That just means businesses need to work hard to explain their value to potential customers, while overdelivering value to current customers.

So, how can a business “get back to basics?” There are several things any business can do.

Remember what problem you or your business solves. Burt says, “Money exchanges hands when problems are solved.” Once you have a clear picture of the problem you are solving, it will be easier to articulate or market that solution.

Prospect. Prospect. Prospect. The days of just opening up a business and people just showing up to buy from you are long gone (if they ever existed at all.) Seeking out people to serve is a basic fundamental in business. With no customers, there is no business. There are countless tools to help this process, but it still takes intentional effort every day.

Follow up. The Law of Diffusion states that it takes an average of 7-15 touches before most prospects make a buying decision. Most sales efforts rarely go beyond 2-3 touches. The numbers drop even further when it comes to following up after the sale. Yet, a satisfied customer is worth an average of 3-5 referrals. How can you mill referrals if you aren’t following up?

Overdeliver. In a world filled with marketing voices telling people to buy this or that, it takes a commitment to over deliver on your promise of a solution that will elevate your business above all the noise. Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing, but it is a double-edged sword. In the world of social media, the tendency to share a negative experience is far greater than the tendency to share a positive one. Businesses who overdeliver tend to level the playing field between the positive and the negative.

While there are no guarantees in life or business, these basics can really elevate any business or service, regardless of the economy. 

Some businesses thrived and grew during the early day of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses continue to grow regardless of who is in the White House. Some businesses grow despite all the “economic indicators.” If you look at the ones that did, I believe you will find they excelled in one or more of the above-mentioned steps.

It’s time we all get back to the basics.

David A. Specht Jr. is publisher and editor of BIZ. and President of Specht Newspapers, Inc.

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