As the U.S. economy sputters along, it’s hard to know what to believe from the financial analysts in the media. If you base business decisions solely on industry trends and financial indicators, even with guidance from the “latest and greatest” book of the moment, you’ll be depressed, confused or both.
Don’t despair! There really are ways to survive – even grow – in times of economic uncertainty, and the following 10 suggestions (five today, five in Thursday’s Part 2) will help you concoct your own, unique plan. From marketing strategies to website components, here are the first five of 10 tips to rejuvenate your business.
1. Pinpoint marketing. Who are your customers – exactly? How do you get your message to the right desktop, laptop and/or iPad rental? Your advertising, partnerships, distribution channels and retail strategy must work together to win and retain your prime customers. If you can’t readily identify them, revise your model until you can. Then consider opt-in mailing lists for pinpoint marketing.
2. Quick answers. A first-rate website answers customers’ questions, often before they ask, with a thorough FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Website visitors should be invited to speak with customer service personnel via their preferred means – real-time messaging, phone, e-mail, even video chat – further ensuring a positive customer experience.
3. No hype. Sure, the new wireless tablets from Apple, Acer, Samsung and others are wildly popular. But buying everyone on your conference team a new one because they’re “cool” is not a good idea. In fact, the cost-effective move is to call CRE for a deal on tablet PC rentals, not make a four-figure capital expenditure for geek chic!
4. Flexible pricing. When chaos is the order of the day for the global economy, you must be flexible. It’s a delicate balancing act, but you should be reasonable in negotiations, creative about bringing in new customers – and up to speed on how flexible pricing mixes with marketing in new and interesting ways.
5. Maximum outsourcing. Minimizing fixed costs is crucial, so the latest “efficiency expert” idea is to outsource such core functions as marketing, HR, finance, IT and manufacturing, getting specialists with greater proficiency for less than the cost of new, full-time employees. The same principle is at work in #3 above, namely: Slow down, crunch the numbers and decide whether to rent laptops or buy them, create a phone bank in-house or hire a contractor, build a new exhibit booth or repaint last year’s, etc.
What one person can you talk to about everything from laptops to exhibit booths? An expert Account Executive at CRE, that’s who. You can call or e-mail to talk about computers, tablets, audiovisual equipment rentals and everything else you may need. Already have a list? Visit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be done in no time!
Don’t forget to return for 10 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Business, Part 2, on Thursday.