There are things you can do right now to weather any storms you might face in the coming 12 months. The nine keys to weathering the storm many business owners are fearing include getting mindset and perspective right .
If you are proactive in your business and address specific areas of your operations with new approaches and a new mindset, you’ll put yourself in the best position to be a long-term winner. So, what else can you do to give yourself the best chance to succeed, even in a challenging 2023 (Reserve Bank announcement, anyone?)
Change doesn’t have to be massive. It can come from small adjustments that ultimately get you to a new level of success. Rarely does large and significant change result from one or two “silver bullets”. Real change comes from constantly looking for small ways to improve, so look for the 1 percent improvements that take you where you need to be. Consider these areas:
- Do you need to alter your pricing structure?
- Where have you never served before? Do you need to make changes to sales or product development?
- What could you do that you have never attempted in the past?
- How do you turn costs into profits?
- Do you need to reallocate resources? Restructure your team?
Employee, customer and supplier engagement and communication
During a change in the marketplace, communication is key. You must increase your communication cadence and improve your messaging to improve results. True communication is the response you get. To get better results you must communicate better. Focus on the tone and content of your communication and extend the circle of who you communicate with regularly.
Start with your team. They need to hear from you at least daily. Keep them informed and safe and taken care of. They will look to you for direction, guidance and security and will be your best source of new leads, insights and innovations.
Increase communication with your suppliers, your community, your family and your customers. Lack of information and communication leads to fear and anxiety, because people crave clarity and certainty.
- Be sensitive – careful and thoughtful communication; now is the time to be empathic and careful with your messaging so you don’t come off sounding insensitive and out of touch.
- Demonstrate leadership – model the behaviour you want others to follow.
- Be positive – be passionate and upbeat. There is enough bad news, don’t add to it.
- Use technology – use multiple employee mediums and channels to spread the word. Don’t rely on one method to get messaging to all stakeholders consistently.
- Be focused – keep people focused on your vision and your mission. Keep them on task and on course.
Marketing and sales
Shift your marketing messaging and communication to your prospects and customers. The world has changed and the old ways to market your business and products probably don’t work as well as they did. If you don’t adjust and show you are tuned into this new normal, customers will get turned off and prospects will remove you from their consideration set. So:
- Adjust your messaging
- Add compassion and empathy
- Inject a new sense of urgency to your messaging
- Go virtual and digital
- Know the numbers and measure results.
Focus on customers’ value. Change from WE, I and US words to You and Your. Build new campaigns with laser-focused target audiences. Choose the segments of your customer base that buy from you most often or are most profitable. Remember, 20 percent of your customers account for 80 percent of your business. Build your new campaigns by attracting those targets.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What “new” adjustments should you be making to your USP (unique selling point).
- What benefits does your product or service provide that meets current needs?
- What marketing budget adjustments are necessary to keep lead flow and sales coming in?
- What new marketing tactics will you need to adopt to reach your prospects? And also upsell to current clients and customers?