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Much is being bandied about regarding the economy. Some is real, some is pure bs and fear mongering. There are ways to make money in an economic downturn, but bet the farm that being meek isn’t one of them.
What would the meek typically do? To trim expenses they would cancel their advertising because they have so many loyal customers. But even loyal customers tend to slow down their buying when not constantly invited to. It’s not that they don’t remain loyal, it’s that they get out of the habit.
A great example of that comes from a car wash that used to deal with us. Business was great and they were very successful. But success has its own disadvantages. After a while they forget who it was helped them achieve the level of success they were enjoying and they begin to believe that it was all because of them. It’s the arrogance of some successful businesses that we have to deal with.
The car wash owner’s daughter graduated from college with a marketing degree and they promptly fired us from doing their advertising. This is not uncommon, but the result is almost always the same. The marketing grad decides to stamp their own imprint on the advertising and not put all their eggs in one basket. So they cut back on radio, add a little newspaper, try some direct mail and begin to wander aimlessly like a nomad in the desert.
After a year or so, they call to re-hire us because although they haven’t lost any customers, their business is down and they can’t figure out why.
It’s pretty simple, because the car wash folks stopped inviting the loyal customers to keep their cars clean and making it a point of pride, the customers slowed down their use of the car wash. It’s not that they stopped going, but instead of every two weeks, they maybe only went every three or four weeks. Voila, business down without losing any customers.
But what a great opportunity for anyone who’s competitors are among the meek. Now is the perfect time to buy more market share. In fact you may never get another opportunity like this until the next economic downturn.
So what do you do?
-Increase your advertising right now on an intrusive media like Radio or TV
-Refine your message to attract new consumers to your business
-Strengthen your offer
-Don’t be afraid to offend, “The risk of insult is the price of clarity.”* Roy H. Williams
-Stay the course
What will the results look like if you adhere to this plan during this economic slowdown? You’ll probably see growth slow down or even stop altogether. You’ll be working harder to make the same money you did in the past few years. You’ll meet more new tire kickers than ever before. You’ll feel that what you’re doing is not working. You’ll want to quit the plan because this ad guy who convinced you to do it must be mad.
What will results look like if you adhere to the plan after the slowdown? If you are prepared with the right staff and inventory, you will see the largest growth ever in your business because as the economy recovers the amount of business being conducted increases and because you own much more market share than before, your business will boom.
So it’s time to show your true mettle. Are you a strong confident leader in your industry or a wimpy wannabee? The Meek will not inherit the earth. But will you?