How to Expand Your Business In the an Uncertain Economic Age
Currently the world has some economic uncertainties from the Trump administration in the US, to the New Zealand expansion (driven by going from being one of the most regulated in the OECD to one of the least regulated, most free-market based economies) was predicted to halter (though it is still going strong) to the imminence of a Brexit future being a cause of concern for many investors in Europe and the UK who have decided a wait-and-see approach. If you are an online entrepreneur, you may have noticed this too.
But don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it is made out to be. Especially, if you apply smart strategies to stir your business accordingly here are some good tips:
1. Revisit your online strategy
In times like this, it is necessary to go back to the basics. Your original business plan may have been designed for a more stable market, but will it suit the current one? Dive into your analytics figures; access your sales and conversion rates. Are they as robust as they used to be? If not, can it be attributed to some causes.
If you know what is directly responsible, a few adjustments can make it more amenable to the current conditions. Now may be the time to focus your efforts on awareness and engagement. As for sales, you could consider pushing forward products your customers are less price-sensitive to. A flexible strategy is an effective weapon.
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2. Focus on product value
In a predominantly uncertain market, consumers tend to be more conscious of their expenses. They will make effort to spend only on those products with visible value offerings. Take advantage of this by promoting the value to be obtained from your products.
For example, if you sell running shoes, instead of leading with the design or colour variation as key attractions, focus on the function and ability to help people achieve their workout goals. Does your service offer customer support? You could add live chat to make your website more user-friendly.
3. Differentiate your products
Production could be a tad more expensive in during a flat market situation. Instead of spending on new product ideas and trying to force them into the market, you can identify new use situations for existing ones and teach your customers to apply them.
For example, if you produce milk or some other food item, suggest more creative ways to incorporate them into other foods. Instead of the usual cereal or tea, maybe your customers come up with pastries made from your ingredient? Turning this into some sort of competition could work in your favour. It doesn’t have to be food alone; your products could present alternative uses.
4. Plan to recover
Business challenges are unavoidable. It is therefore essential to understand how to deal with setbacks. Re-evaluate your processes to suit your customers’ expectations. Study your competitors’ weak points and improve on them in your business. This is likely to attract a number of their unsatisfied customers to you.
A website with quality user experience will trump another with a bad one, even if the latter offers more promising products. There are valuable partnerships businesses can form without spending money; consider a service or customer swap for complimentary products. You’ll be able to increase your conversion rates.
An uncertain market is like rain, it will come and go. The key to surviving it is making your business as flexible as they come. Eventually, the consequences of Brexit will peter out and the markets will pick up again. I am of the opinion that this is the case. So, brace yourself, it will get worse before it gets better.