072You might be wondering why I wrote the word “GROWING” in all caps. Because that is exactly what you need to be doing right now. Many business owners freak out and they hide in their caves waiting for the bad times to pass by. That doesn’t make any sense. If you are just waiting until you see the light at the end of the tunnel, your ship will most likely sink.

I would like to share with you some ideas to grow your business during the economic crisis.

Profit from your current customers
As obvious as this idea may be, you will be surprised with the number of business owners that sell a customer just once. Call your previous customers and find out how you can help them. According to statistics, someone who bought from you in the past is five times more likely to buy from you again than a new prospect.

Offer as much value as you can
These days, consumers and companies are more careful with their expenses. Give them great deals. It’s time to start running some specials!

Get out and meet people
Join networking groups, ask your customers for referrals, invite prospects for a coffee. Your chances of growing your business are not very good if you spend most of your day behind your desk.

Create alliances and find new strategic partners
Leverage all your relationships. Find other businesses that serve the same market that you do but are not your competitors. Find a way to work together with them and refer business to each other.

Educate yourself
If you can afford it, go to seminars and events in your industry. If your budget doesn’t allow you to do that, then read some books and blogs. Also contact your chamber of commerce; they will often host business classes. You will need new ideas and knowledge to stand out in a market so competitive.

Reduce your overhead
In case you didn’t know this already, your overhead is killing you. Go over your last quarter’s expenses and analyze each item by asking yourself this question: “is this costing more money than it is making?” If the answer is yes, get rid of it immediately or you will have cashflow problems really soon (if you are not having them already).

One word of warning: don’t cut your marketing budget for those campaigns that are actually working. Some people freak out and their brains stop working. Don’t let that happen to you. If something is working, do more of it, not less.

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