Change is the one thing that we can be sure of.

There is a lot of pent-up desire in the marketplace.
While the economy has all of us spending less and evaluating our purchases more carefully, many of us are still meeting our daily needs. In my area, which has a mix of income levels, the malls and stores seem busy enough with full parking lots and lines at check out. So we must be buying something. I believe we are reducing our discretionary spending, so we are saying “no” to a lot of things we really want. As part of evaluating your products and services be sure to think about this.

Both personal and business consumers are holding off on buying many things that they do plan on purchasing. They are just waiting to see some improvement in the economy. For some this is a precaution, they feel they should be cautious because everyone else is, even though their income may not be dramatically affected. For others, it is a smart decision based on a real change in their income. Either way, those desires are being put on hold. 

But as soon as there is a change in income, or a change in perception, those desires will be met. So your plans need to include purchases that will be made in the future. How far in the future is hard to know, but you need to have this covered. The last thing you want is not being ready to capitalize when the recession finally recedes. A recent news story said that the recession will be over in October. What an amazing change from the news just six months ago when the only news messages were about this being the greatest depression since the “Great Depression”. The change in perception has started. What can you do to be ready?

Critically evaluate your products and services.
Take a hard look at what your company produces. Is it relevant in today’s marketplace? Is it about the needs of your customer, or is it about what you are able to produce. Just because the dollar is tight, you cannot offer less to your customer, you need to be thinking about offering more. Are your products or services the very best they can be? How do they compare to your competition including all the competitors your customers and prospects can easily find on the internet?  While the recession is a challenge, it can help us see what moves our customer and what people are buying in our product category. If your entire category is down, you may need to prepare for waiting it out. If people are still buying in your category, but not from you, you need to know why.

Strategically retool if necessary.
Now that you have done some self-analysis, decide on what changes you can make. Remember the concept of “find a need and fill it” which could hold some great ideas for improving, updating, or revamping your product or service. Be sure to include everything needed for a great customer experience around that product. While a customer may “need” a new computer system, they “want” expert advice, good pricing, experienced technicians and great follow through to go with it. In today’s difficult market poor products will die off quickly and weak services will be replaced by better vendors. Do everything you can to be the best in your field.

Go back