Every industry has its ebbs and flows in business, typically gauged by quarterly reports and monthly revenue goals. Embracing the inevitable changing business environment equips you with the right tools and mindset to tackle any hurdles that may arise, thus setting you up for success.
In order to keep the pace with the ever-changing business climate, your company must know how to be agile enough to ride the ups and downs. Let’s review three ways to embrace the change of seasons and highlight how you can end the year strong – even with both predictable and unpredictable industry change.
Adopt and Embrace an Offline and Online Marketing Strategy
Users want to see a tightly aligned message with a company’s online and offline marketing strategy. According to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail customer response rates increased by 43% year-over-year, according to 2016 statistics. If your current offline strategy involves the use of direct mailers, include customized products your clients can use year-round. These may include personalized calendars, pens emblazoned with your logo, or business card magnets they can hang up in their own office or at home. However, while direct mail still is successful for most industries, don’t forget about the industry change of an ever-increasing mobile audience who may prefer to receive their messaging electronically.
According to a 2016 report analyzing over 1 billion emails, there was an open rate of 24.88% when averaged across all devices and sectors. This scrapes by the average email marketing open rate of 22%. People consistently rely on email to receive information. If you’re not utilizing both offline and online strategies to align with each other, you may be, quite literally, sending your customers mixed messages.
How to embrace the changing business environment: Don’t abandon tried-and-true offline methods. Just make sure they match what you’re presenting online as well, and test which performs better per campaign.
Put on the Blinders and Live Out Your Own Mission (Don’t Follow Competitors)
It’s still recommended to do market research and keep on an eye on your competitors to help gauge your place in the industry. But, you may also want to pay close attention to what sets your company apart from others. Brand identity is crucial for a small business, because marketing budgets most likely can’t compete against the bigger brands. Live out your own mission by engaging your entire team to be an advocate for your brand.
Do this by becoming a “walking, talking billboard” at the places that matter most, such as trade shows, local events, conferences, and other opportunities where it makes sense (and is expected) to promote your brand. If your budget allows for it, sponsor a well-attended event and set up a booth to sell your products or services.
Once you have finalized your calendar of events, equip your staff with promotional merchandise to give away. Items should include your company’s name, contact information (phone, email, and/or social media), and a tagline, if applicable. Customize note pads, water bottles, drawstring backpacks, and other swag-worthy items to pass out at your next event. It will give people a reason to stop by and learn more about your company, buy your products, or schedule an appointment for your service.
How to embrace the changing business environment: Stop focusing so much on the competition. When it comes to promoting your company, sometimes you have to ignore the industry chatter to hone in on your specific goals and audiences.
Think Big and Stay Small
The term “small business” is defined by the number of employees and amount of revenue generated. These numbers range by industry as outlined by the Small Business Administration. Whether you are a small business of 25 employees or a company of 250, you must always be willing to think big to keep up with the changing business climate.
Thinking big, though, often refers to looking at goals that go beyond revenue. It involves asking questions like: How do you want to present yourself in the industry? What kind of opportunities can you provide your employees? Are you a company that encourages leadership and advancement? Maintain open communication within your company and have scheduled internal brainstorming meetings or quarterly initiatives to further your company’s culture and value. What goals would you like to see your company achieve?
How to embrace the changing business environment: Define your company by more than revenue; find out what else motivates employees. This will help reduce turnover and improve loyalty within your company, which in turn saves company hiring costs.
There will always be climate change in business, especially as technology shifts and audience mindsets evolve. As a small business, it’s important to stay relevant among industry change. Ensure you have stability internally, so you can maintain your business goals among your clients and new audiences. Empower your team to be flexible and adaptable through industry changes.
Want to gain a new perspective and learn how to embrace change? Download a free copy of our Weekender Guide, a work-life balance calendar, to help you set goals for your entire team.