It has be a few years since we went through a recession. According to some economist it has been since 2001 that we have enjoyed a recession. It might be a good time for a refresher course in how to do business during a recession.
There are a few key points to consider during tough economic times. Some have to do with common sense, which is always in short supply during a crisis. Others have to do with things that slip our minds and things we simply forget about until they come up again.
Customers, Shoppers and Buyers become more Cautious
The squeeze of every economic slowdown and recession is first felt by the consumer. They will know of a problem long before any government economist will admit that there is a problem.
Energy prices rise, food prices rise and pay days don’t. In the case where there is a commission based job in the household the paycheck may even take a dip during slow economic times. Combined with the rise in energy and food prices this puts a terrible squeeze on the household budget.
Therefore, your customer is going to spend less simply because they have less to spend. Be aware of this in your marketing and you can still garner your share of their spendable income.
Know your Strengths and Capitalize on them
If you are a casual dining restaurant that has a menu with items priced under $10 now is not the time to introduce your new, higher priced menu. Save that for when your customers have more spendable income and can afford to pay more to eat out.
Your mission during tough times is to survive like anyone else. Take a look at your menu. Find the high profit items on your menu and feature them in your advertising. Also know what your most popular items are and help people to know that you have them. Do you have a sign board outside of your restaurant? If so, use these items as your daily specials and price them right for your customers.
Be Smart with your Purchases
A very wise businessman taught me that there are 2 ways to make money when you sell something. Obviously, you make money on the difference between your cost and the selling price. However, what most people don’t realize is that you made money when you bought the item if you paid less for it.
Now is the time to comparison shop. Now is the time that you might pick up a new vendor or 2 through comparing what you are doing now and the other options that are available to you.
You have to understand that tough economic times reach way up the food chain. Your vendors are also having to scramble to do business. They too will be looking at how to continue selling during a recession. Being competitively priced is going to be one way that they survive. It is not wrong to competitively shop and force your vendors to cut prices in order to keep your business.
You should also take a look at what you can do yourself that you once hired out. For instance, there are probably maintenance items that you might have hired out that you could do yourself if you put your mind to it. Washing windows, plunging a toilet or maintaining equipment are all examples of things you might once have hired out that you now must do for yourself. Don’t hire an electrician to change a light bulb and don’t call a technician to replace a printer on your poit of sale system.
Be sure to use the Internet and search engines to help locate better pricing and help maintaining equipment. There are thousands of resources on the Internet that can help with better prices on inventory items, do-it-yourself help sites and even sites to buy equipment at drastically reduced prices.
Be smart in all aspects of your business and you will survive this recession.