SCORE Small Business Blog

Managing: Tips for Today’s Business Challenges
6 Comments

Business is harder today than ever before and with high unemployment rates and families faced with financially challenging times, a business owner must think carefully about how to keep their market share. There are day to day issues that must be dealt with in business, carefully think about each issue and determine a solution that will give you the best result.

Important tips to consider:

1. Always control your expenses in all areas of business to increase the profit margins. Inventory costs, labor costs, supplies, and all direct and indirect expenses. Everything can and should be negotiated. Money saved will add thousands of dollars in additional profits.
2. Sell your products or services many different ways: online, storefront, wholesale, trade shows, home parties, corporate sales, sales promotions and incentives, joint marketing, and on consignment to name a few.
3. Always add new products and services for business growth. Protect your intellectual property properly with copyrights, trademarks and patents. www.uspto.gov.
4. Listen to your customers and ask your customers what they want, they will tell you and give you new ideas that will inspire change.
5. To retain customers, make it easy for them to do business with you. Deliver on time and do what you promise. Go out of your way and do things that you normally would not do. Always exceed your customer’s expectations and give them a reason to come back.

These are a few ideas. Please share other things that have worked for you?

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

// |

Discussion (6) Comment


  1. Laura LowellVisitor

    Hi Julie,
    Love the list…I’d like to expand on #2. It is also important to Market your products in different ways too. Social media, blogs, videos, online and offline ads, direct mail – you need to find out what works for your business based on what your customers prefer. This relates to #4 – don’t forget to ask your customers how they get their information, what they read and how they make their decisions. All of this will help determine what marketing tactics will work best.

    Keep the good ideas coming…thanks!
    LL

  2. Cynthia, Phil & Jessica:

    Thanks for your comments back to Julie. She is a great addition to the blog team. A deep thinker.

    Jessica, it is always worth careful consideration about when expansion makes sense. Research first “Does your client want shapeware?” Focus clients needs & whether there is a market. Then, decide if it makes financial sense for you to branch out.

    So glad, you are adding to the dialogue. Thank you.

    Christine


  3. JessicaVisitor

    I wonder, and I’m not saying this because I know for sure, if expanding your products and services is a good thing. Sometimes a niche approach gives you that perceived expertise that will allow you to flourish in a down economy.
    For example, my company sells bras and panties for women. If we would expand too far out of the shape wear business that would dilute our brand.


  4. Phil JonesVisitor

    Your comment about on time delivery is good. I found that when we started shipping ‘same day’ or within 24 hours our customer service dropped by 80%. Saved us a huge amount of time.

    Thanks.

    -Phil


  5. heiffersonVisitor

    This is great, congratulations for such a great initiative. I just found out about this Women SCORE Blog.

  6. Julie, this is an excellent list, I wanted to add some detail to #5.
    I think it is very helpful to schedule phone calls to your client. That way you talk to everyone and keep in front of them even if they are not buying right now.

    I also like to send out thank you post cards for each order. The cost is minimal compared to the customers response and loyalty.

 

Leave a Comment