Firstly, understand that whilst you can control your business to some degree, you can’t control the general market atmosphere. Up’s, downs, good times & recessions are all just a normal part of the swings and roundabouts of business. In the ‘old days’ I used to have a small design business that was affected by market conditions. In the down times, I would stress, panic, chase work and generally lose focus.
After 5-10 years of similar trends of up and downtime, it became apparent that no matter how much I fought, the quiet patches still occurred and revenue dropped. On the flipside, I found during the busy, more positive times that business was good, and revenue flowed. It was also during these busy times that the busyness hilighted the need for good systems and processes. Trouble was though that I had no time to put any new processes and systems in place. I was too busy!
It tome some years to recognize that these periods were actually market trends and not just a result of bad business effort. Look around and talk to business people today and you’ll find that nearly all businesses are in the same economic condition. Almost all are noticing the same patterns, so it’s not just you – we’re in a bad trend.
Here are some simple tips you should consider to help your business run smoother in tough times…
As an old playwright once said…
To Sell, or not to Sell: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous, less fortunate entrepreneurs, Or to take arms against that sea of tall poppies, and by opposing their methods make thy sales? To chase the sale: to automate thou sales methods; Yes; and by sales automation we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks, that can arise from older traditional methods.
Selling software online always works the best when you don’t have to sell. Rather all you do is ‘Fill a need’ or ‘Solve a problem’. It should be transactional (automated where possible), not emotional. Transactional selling scales, emotional selling doesn’t.
If you have to ‘convince’ a company to buy your software, chances are you’re doing something wrong. The reason I say this is that the brand, messaging, product, website, documentation and value message should already have done the ‘selling’ to the customer. You should only need to ‘close the sale’ or make a ‘transaction’ depending on your model.
It’s fairly easy. Talk, Blog, Syndicate, SEO, Tweet, and build a Solid Product. Then look after users and they’ll become evangelists.
Continue reading about Worlds shortest blog post – "How do you build a world class software product, compete with large players and grow an excellent, loyal user base on a near $0 advertising budget?"
I’ve just been reading this great blog post from Seth Godin about the “The rapid growth (and destruction) and growth of marketing” as he puts it. In the post, Seth talks about the move from a ‘mass marketing’ culture to a ‘permission based’ culture and the onset of the ‘idea virus’. These are some hugely important areas to understand as they are on the money. I’ve just read his book “The Purple Cow” and I have to admit it’s one of the best reads I’ve had in the past years. I agree with the concepts and they stack up against our own analytics we’ve been tracking around our marketing efforts.
Rod Drury wrote an interesting post over on his blog about what he would do if in charge of Microsoft. Have a read of my thoughts on the issue of rebranding.