There has been a lot of talk recently about an impending recession. For certain, the stock market has had some huge losses lately; inflation is very high; supply chains are a mess, and nearly every business is short of competent staff. Taken together, as well as adding an inflated housing market, rising credit card debt, and the uncertainty of war in Europe, it’s reasonable to believe we’re headed into some rough waters.
How can a business prepare for and even thrive during these times?
- Strengthen your company’s finances. Pay down any debt you may have and get a cushion of operating costs squirreled away.
- Strengthen your customer relationships. At Kona Impact, we recommend reaching out to each customer who has been active recently at least twice a year, either through direct mail, an email, or a call. We generate a lot of business almost immediately when we do this, but we also get a good trickle of business for months to come.
- Take a good survey of your competitors and find ways that you can do things faster, better, and more innovatively. We don’t obsess about what others are doing, but we certainly make sure that we know what the competitive landscape looks like.
- Innovate. In the past three years, we have added a flatbed UV printer, a large laser machine, and a CNC plasma cutter. No other local sign company has these capabilities, which has made us the go-to source for a lot of specialty projects. We love to be the best at what we do, and we love to be the only local company that does what we do.
- Market your business better. To be honest, most local small businesses do a very mediocre job of marketing. They may have some online presence, but few utilize their contact lists–email and physical addresses–in any systematic way. Spending a few hours a week identifying potential customers and reaching out to them is a great use of time. When business is good, it maybe doesn’t matter, but if the dark clouds on the horizon come our way, it’ll be the businesses that market the best that will get through tough times more easily.
I attribute a lot of Kona Impact’s success to how we have invested a lot of our resources into new products and services as well as solid and relentless marketing efforts. A willingness to change and a willingness to keep doing what has worked well in the past has served us well.