As home furnishings retailers and suppliers, many of us have learned how to weather the storms; we know the keys to capitalizing in a downturn; and we get the secret to succeeding where others will fail.
But to capitalize on our knowledge, there are a few do’s and dont’s:
Do reassess your marketing message, method and target.
Don’t cut back on your marketing efforts.
Do learn the new “Language of Profitability.”
Do banish budgets and create investments.
Don’t use the same language that brought you into this, to get you out.
This is the ideal time for truly focused niche marketing. Make it personal, relevant and regular. The beauty of a downturn is that as the business world gets quieter, your message will stand out much louder. Your competitors are busy slashing their budgets, while you are investigating and implementing the best investment for your marketing dollar.
Remember the “semantics of success:” Remove a budget (which implies a limitation and is merely a line item on an expense report with a life cycle), and replace it with an investment. An investment can be made at anytime, for any reason, by anyone, in any amount, and has a return on it – an ROI!
Do know who your target market is.
Don’t take every prospect that comes your way, just because you are a little hungrier.
Do look for ways to take advantage of consumers staying put, unable to move.
Don’t assume they won’t spend; they often have more money because they aren’t moving!
Chasing a customer who is the wrong fit wastes a lot of energy, time and resources. This is the time to be focused. When drilling for oil, you don’t win by scattering your efforts and drilling shallowly, but instead you hit black gold when you dig deep.
Trying to be all things to all customers will mean you are nothing to anyone. Set yourself, your product, your storefront and your salespeople apart from the pack. Ask yourself what you can do differently. How can you create a memorable experience that will drive buyers to return again and again?
Do get rid of under-performing employees, reps and managers. Don’t miss this chance to hire the best for less.
Do evaluate your location, facility, storefront.
Don’t forget that there are bargains to be had in real estate and equipment.
Do build your foundation now for the success that lies ahead.
Don’t undermine your efforts with random cost cutting.
Do be patient and optimistic, and continue taking action.
Don’t become a pessimist and shirk responsibility for your own success.
Now, that isn’t to say we aren’t affected. We don’t have our heads in the sand, instead we are looking forward, eyes wide open and taking advantage of opportunities to make needed changes.
Most of life, and certainly success, is in how you process it. It isn’t about what happens to you, but what you do with circumstances presented. Are you ready to seek the silver lining or do you prefer to pout amongst the gray clouds? Persistence, passion and action will reap reward.
About the Author:
Melissa Galt is a consultant and popular speaker at market events and design centers. Visit her online at www.sixfigureprofessionals.com or visit her ezine at www.melissagalt.com. This column first appeared in Home Accents Today and is reprinted with permission.