It’s no secret that, as 2010 draws to a close, many small business owners are looking for opportunities to increase their incomes and lower expenses, without sacrificing their product quality and reputation. For many, this is a make-or-break situation, with the longevity of their company hanging in the balance.
Despite the dramatic downturn in the economy over the past year, and the continuing decline of the dollar, entrepreneurs are looking at 2011 with wide-eyed enthusiasm. A new economy is emerging. In almost every sector, new products, services and opportunities are reinvigorating the markets. What, then, is a small business to do to stay competitive and facilitate long-term growth in the current economic condition?
In order to keep up with the possibilities of the “post-recession” business climate, future growth will rely on a sound, bare-knuckled approach to planning. With that being said, the following considerations must be addressed when strategically forming a sound blueprint for your company’s future expansion.
1.) Branding – Keep your business at the forefront of the consumer’s mind by generating a positive link between them and your product/service. Is your logo eye-catching? Do you have an informative web presence? What about a blog or lens page? Are you using sound SEO practices? Do you have an effective print, radio or television advertisement campaign? Make sure that, whatever you’re doing, you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Focus your money on those practices that are showing benefit and pull money from those that are not. Don’t waste your delicate resources on lackluster results.
2.) Diversification – Continue to build multiple income streams. Revenue generation through several different outputs can be crucial to a small business. If one stream falls short, another avenue can keep the business thriving.
As a small business CEO, it is through the development of multiple income streams, that we are poised to grow, exponentially, throughout 2011. As a multi-faceted company, having corresponding revenue generation through various formats, ensures a diverse and extensive forum for profitability.
3.) Social Interactions – Donate, volunteer and give generously to causes and charities that are valued by your customers. Get a feel for the pulse of your client base. By doing so, you’ll greatly enhance the name recognition of your business. In a recession, the emotional “brownie points” you will generate with prospective clients is an immeasurable benefit.
4.) Go Crazy – Once a year, do something so out-of-the-ordinary that people cannot help but notice your business or brand. Is the local community in need of something of benefit? Donate or help build that handicap-accessible ramp or upgrade of the city park. Not big enough? How about coordinating a free concert, with your company as the sole sponsor? The ideas are limitless.
Tying together points 3 and 4, I coordinated a large-scale, outdoor concert in 2004, which raised money for various charities. By maximizing my company’s name recognition with the charitable event, not only was over $10,000 generated for the charity, but numerous profitable contacts and venture opportunities for the company were forged, as well.
Remember, the economy will constantly ebb and flow. Operating a successful business that will outlast any downturns in the market is a task that is to be undertaken with strict responsibility. By following these simple, yet effective practices, your small business can successfully navigate through the post-recession slump and position itself for increased, long-term growth and success.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, has a very successful tenure in business matters. As the current head of Straight Edge Entertainment, coupled with management experience for other companies and corporations, he has a proven record of understanding business growth strategies.