It has been confirmed, the UK is heading into a recession and you just need to listen to Mervyn King’s gloomy forecast at the end of last month to realise that times are going to get tight for small businesses in all sectors as we move into 2009. BBC Website – The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King: 22nd Oct 2008
But does this mean that UK businesses should button down the hatches and ride out the storm which, according to some predictions, could last well into 2010? Or is there some opportunity to be gained by owners of small businesses who are prepared to think on their feet and react quickly to minimise their expenditure and explore new market opportunities that may be hidden in this global economic slowdown?
I certainly don’t claim to have the answers but I find it encouraging to hear business leaders sharing thoughts and advice on ways to further their business during this time of general fear andspeculation. Because of this, I wanted to share some of my own thoughts and those of other proactive thinkers I come across over the next few months, and make a humble contribution to the ethos that even negative change creates opportunity.
As the first part of this series I wanted to look at marketing as this is a topic close to my heart as well as being critical to the success of any business in any economic climate.
I know from experience that one of the first things to go when money gets tight is the poor old marketing budget. Why? Well have you ever read a marketing proposal with a clearly stated return on investment? However difficult it is to quantify, cutting your marketing budget is not the answer, some of your competitors will see this as an opportunity and you should too! Those that don’t, well perhaps there’s your opportunity for a larger market share.
Instead look to invest more wisely, don’t be afraid of the Internet, look at search engine optimisation and e-marketing as cost-effective routes to market. Revisit your existing clients, treat them fairly and they’ll help you – remember that they got you where you are today. Rather than cut your budget, review where it’s going – take a hard look at existing campaigns – without constant revision they often go stale.
Here is a good set of tips from a global marketeer which I guarantee with re-invigorate you to rethink your day to day sales and marketing activity: Laurel Delaney on MarketingProfs: 5 Tips to Recession-Proof Global Marketing