Friday, October 3, 2008

How to Get New Business during the Economic Crisis

Times are tough right now and more than ever, small businesses need money coming in.

Small business owners will be losing sales to the businesses that can afford to advertise during this down turn in our economy.

How can you grow your business if you don’t have the available capital to start an effective advertising campaign?

One way is through the Internet.

If you don’t already have a website, investing in one should be your #1 priority.

With gas prices up, consumers are shopping from the comfort of home and comparing pricing online before venturing out to make purchases.

Whether you are providing a service or a product, you should definitely have an online presence so that they can see what you have to offer.

Several times I’ve seen small business owners who have a splash page up with their contact information and the words “Site under construction”. This is a big mistake. Google and other search engine’s will not index the website if it has “under construction” on it. If you’re one of those business owners and you can’t afford to move forward with your site design at this time, at the very least, alter your web page to remove that phrase.

How can you increase your visibility on the Internet?

  1. Place content on your page that lists relevant keywords that pertain to your product or service offering.
  2. Submit your site to online directories
  3. Make sure you include your meta tags including keywords, title and description of your business.
  4. Write articles relevant to your business and include a link to your site and then submit them to article submission sites. Many other websites create RSS feeds from those article submission sites that can lead to many sites linking to your business.
  5. Post comments on blogs, social networks and articles to market your business by providing useful information. (Beware of the hard sell, make sure your comments actually offer advice or insight.)
  6. Seek out businesses that are related (and not direct competitors) to your business and exchange links with them.
  7. Write a press release outlining a community benefit to using your product or service and distribute online.
Small businesses need to stick together during these rough times and reaching out to other businesses in your community could prove to be beneficial if you can team up together to offer special deals to your potential customers. If you own a pizza parlor near a video store, you could work together cross promoting each other by offering a special deal of showing your receipt to receive a discount.

You can also team up with other small businesses in producing a flyer or postcard to be distributed for added exposure.

Join your local chamber of commerce (it usually doesn’t cost too much) and network. Go the functions and meet business owners from your community.

Even if your marketing/advertising funds are low, you can still generate new business by working online and through your community.

Please do write in to let me know if you have success or if you would like to share any great ideas with the small business tips blog readers.

Joanne

19 comments:

Rose (Business Networking) said...

Yes this post is very useful for people like me... I would suggest to take up an online business to help ourselves during the crises...

Kris Bovay said...

To develop the idea of networking and community further (in terms of building cost effective methods of business growth), consider aligning with others in your industry - even competitors, if you can develop a relationship of trust and mutual benefit (I'm not advocating price-setting or other illegal activities; I'm talking about shared advertising, cooperative business development, and more. We are heading into challenging times; we need to do things differently.

Opaque Tights said...

your post is really helpful

Complete Business Systems said...

Thank you for all of your comments and for sharing tips with our readers, we really appreciate it!

Bihter said...

Hi Joanne,

Just wanted to say that I've started reading your blog. I'm wondering if you have heard about the book, "What Men Don't Tell Women About Business". I heard the guy (Chris Flett) on the Today Show and thought you probably have already heard of him. I'm wondering what your thoughts were. He seems to be really taking on the 'Old Boys Club". I just emailed him, but haven't heard back.

Anyway, keep up the great writing.

Best,

Bihter.

Stefan Töpfer said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

SeamlessDev Staff said...

Thanks for the business tips. Its good to see that we've not forgotten about the little guys in these times of crisis.

Complete Business Systems said...

Thanks for your comments and suggestions to help our other small business tips readers.

Hopefully if we all work together we can keep things running smoothly during these tough economic times.

Complete Business Systems said...

Hi Bihter,

No, I haven't - but I'll check it out!

coaching said...

creating a website IS one of the best things you can do for your business. Thanks for the post. Great for any small business owner.

Bihter said...

Hi Joanne,

I've been doing some additional research on the author, Chris Flett, that I talked about on my last comment. His company is "GhostCEO" (www.GhostCEO.com) and his book is a bestseller. I found it on Amazon here. Anyway, he was in the NY Times last Sunday under the "Career Couch" and he makes reference to women's blogs like yours so I thought you might like to connect. I'd like to see you interview him and see what he's all about. I saw on another blog he was a guest blogger. His email is: chris@ghostceo.com

Best wishes,

Bihter.

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real estate management said...

Thanks for guidelines to gain new business in economic crisis.

Ramesh Raja said...

This article is very helpful and you have given a good idea for starting online business. In this crisis period doing any kind of business could be of lot of risk. But compared to other business conditions online business gives us more opportunities of bringing profits. I only believe in one thing believing in what we do is the most important thing.

Cheap La Traviata Tickets said...

Actually during crisis it is so difficult to stabilized our business so thanks for the tips really useful.

Business Consulting said...

Although web advertising is an essential component of promoting any small business, it is not the only method in promoting business. One can also promote business offline. Printing off leaflets, fliers, posters and billboards is a great idea to reach potential customers that web advertising overlooks.

Peter Sinclair said...

Great ideas for those of us in small business. Being creative and consistent in that creativity is of vital importance.

Barbara said...

what a great blog you have here! it's awesome.

in addition to the tips, i would also like to share a useful resource i discovered. Prova will be able to help you running an ad campaign at very minimal costs. i am very delighted how they helped me.

Medical trials said...

I think in all times we should be considering our financial status, not just in times of crisis. We should be always secured financially. Invest while you have the capacity to invest.