Hearing all the poor-us economy news is enough to scare businesses owners at any level. If you are a home based entrepreneur there are things you can do to keep your business thriving in the current economy.
Flexibility – It goes without saying that if you are a home based entrepreneur one of your key attributes is flexibility. Now is the time to use that flexibility. Can you bundle all or part of your services with another home based entrepreneur whose business compliments yours? How about breaking down your services to be more specialized and appeal to a different market of people? What about your hours of availability?
Don’t Forget the Basics – Make sure the product or service you offer is sound and worth the money. Solid customer service keeps people coming back as well. Do you follow up? Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Remember the details; don’t get sloppy in your interactions with your customers. People want to know they are getting the best deal for their money.
Customer Base – There comes a time when you have to take a good look at your customer base. Do you have some customers that are costing you money? Do they require more effort, materials, time then most of your other clients? Is working with them draining rather than producing? It may be the time to dump them. Follow up on previous calls or emails. Some of those past inquiries may be ready to buy now.
Keep your Current Customers Loyal – Communicate to keep your name on their minds, but don’t waste their time. Is there something that you can offer to increase the return of their investment of working with you? Find out what some of their other needs are. Can you provide that service or a component of it?
Cut the Extras – Evaluate your vendors. Are you getting the best deal possible from them? They are working to stay in business as well, but perhaps there are some areas open to re-negotiation. When it comes to technology separate the “have to haves” from the “want to haves”. There is nothing that says you can not add back these services when times loosen up.
Expand Networking – Now is not the time to hibernate. Look for new networking opportunities and remember, networking is about building relationships over time, not just in the short term. Be open to opportunities. If a business has to downsize employees, can you sub-contract your services to them?
Never Stop Marketing – If you stop, how will people hearing about you and how will they purchase what you have to offer? Now may be the time to look into different marketing opportunities. No matter what else you do, keep marketing your business. Check out what other companies are doing, it maybe something that will work for your business. Companies that will be around next year are companies that remain aggressive in marketing their business.