I can’t believe of the number of stories I’ve read in the last few weeks about the downturn in the small business economy. One of the natural advantages to small business is that recessions don’t really have the same impact – I mean, many small businesses just need eight more customers to have an up year, right.
And, the typical small business can bob and weave in a moment’s notice and, in some cases, completely remake themselves if a certain market direction dries up. So let’s be careful about talking ourselves into all this doom and gloom.
Some marketing experts may advise you to expand your marketing reach when times are tough, but I believe the opposite is true. (In fact, the only thing you should do in good times and bad is the right thing – bad times just seem to have a way of getting your attention.)
- The most effective strategy you can adopt now and in the future is to think narrow.
- Narrow your target market focus – define who makes an ideal customer and who doesn’t – serve only one of them
- Narrow your core marketing message – find a way to stand out to be different and build all of your lead activities around owning that difference, that word
- Narrow the gap between you and your customer – build community around your current customers, bring them into your marketing mix, ask them what they think, give them something they didn’t expect, help them get more of what they want, call them for no reason at all – and build through their referrals
If you can become known by a very narrow target market for doing something very specifically unique in a way that your customers adore, you will no longer compete on price and no longer live at the mercies of the ups and downs beyond your control.
Talk of a good old recession can be good for business as it has a tendency to weed out competitors who believe that cutting their prices is the way to a turn around!