In Rejuvenate-Part 1, we talked about doing business in a bad economy and offered 5 tips to grow your business. One of the takeaways is the importance of optimism. Another important principle is “actions speak louder than words” – and the challenge humans always face is taking insights and ideas and acting upon them to effect positive change. Talk is cheap. And inaction is expensive.
As you get ideas, get right into action. If there’s a conference coming up where you will hold a breakout session, setting up one of CRE’s Audience Response Systems (ARS) gets you immediate feedback on anything “new and improved” that you incorporate into your presentation.
So what else can an organization do to grow? Here are the final five tips:
6. Marketing fundamentals. As we start the third decade of the Internet Era, many websites still lack proper menus, user-friendly layout, consistent style, etc. At the very least, use your color scheme and logo throughout all marketing materials (print and digital) and support your branding with buzzword-free value propositions. Even if your firm is small and on a tight budget, an iMac from CRE has all you need to create and maintain a clean, effective website.
7. Creative funding. Most businesses fail due to undercapitalization (not enough dough). If you need funding, think creatively, as venture capitalists are presently occupied putting out fires in their existing portfolios. Speak with friends and family about investing, and don’t forget “shadow investors” like suppliers that might offer extended terms in exchange for a long-term purchase order, special discounts, rebates and/or other perks.
8. New partnerships. Both UPS and FedEx are installing workstations like computer rentals at their larger customers’ locations. This doesn’t merely save time and money, but makes the shippers proactive business partners with their customers. If you don’t have the clout of a Fortune 500 firm, you can still approach shippers and suppliers for special terms, just-in-time deliveries, co-op ads, joint promotions, etc.
9. Honest PR. The press releases that most webmasters and editors get are full of fluff and buzzwords. What business doesn’t claim “market leadership” or “best practices”? Avoid words and phrases that editors see every day. Original, honest PR – written in plain English, please! – will separate you from the pack.
10. No boundaries. Companies should position themselves to serve customers around the world, unless it makes no sense. If your product or service fills a need in other countries, and you don’t have resources or staff there, then connect with a local manufacturer, dealer or distributor with the established presence you need.