Hello, its Malcolm Gallagher host of the BizVision.co.uk network of online business channels.
The words worry and uncertainty are looming larger than ever in UK business at the moment.
Yes, there’s a lot of frustration and annoyance but what is concerning is very little action being taken. Inaction causes decay. Coming up are my ten principles of winning at times of uncertainty.
- Get the right mindset – times of uncertainty brings an opportunity to build your business. I know I’ve been around long enough and done it.
- Don’t assume your business category will behave like all the others. Are you paying attention to the trends and what’s happening in your sector? There’s lots of information out there for you to grab & use.
- Run what I call “opportunity scans” to inform & strengthen your win strategy. Too many businesses are too introvert and don’t think laterally enough. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes works wonders in seeing the opportunity.
- Raise your game at the Point of Purchase. How are you helping your customer make the decision to buy you? Or let me put it another way, where, or how, are you preventing your customer from buying. You’ll likely need an honest approach to manage this one!
- Know who your priority customers or buyers really are and what they are doing, thinking, feeling right now. How important to them is what you make, do or offer? How can you remind them of this importance so that you are NOT downgraded in their purchasing priority?
- Watch your competitors even more carefully and act against them decisively. Don’t be soft here as they are likely to be predatory in these uncertain times. I wrote and filmed recently about how to stop them from stealing your customers by using my negativity strategy. Click here for the “stop them stealing your customers” post
- Maximise your Marketing Mix – be flexible and experimental. Marketing is constantly changing in its channels and reach. Customers are constantly changing in their behaviour and needs. Don’t just stick to what you have been told is the norm. Make sure that, at the very least, you are measuring your marketing effectiveness with sound KPIs that are focused on the pull through to revenue.
- Spend and act smart – make efficiency and effectiveness your watchwords. Allow no waste and no complacency. What’s your conversion rate from enquiry to a customer? Is it slipping or improving? What’s the average spend? How long are sales taking to get through your sales funnel? Make sure you employ my favourite assistant here. She’s called Ruth Less!
- Prioritise keeping current customers over getting new ones (unless you can manage both!) Make sure you are ring-fencing existing customers and giving them all the benefits you would give to a new customer. Think creating a community or tribe to draw in their loyalty.
- Show leadership (both internally & externally) Show it with your close team, your broader company, your influencers, your customers and especially your suppliers.
I constantly see a lack of leadership in businesses but what I also see is the decay happening to that business and the missed opportunity from inadequate leadership. I’m not blaming those leaders, many of whom may not have ever experienced uncertain times. My grey hair testifies that I’ve lived and survived through a number of them!
So get stuck into the ten principles. Add or subtract as you want but at least do something! Have I missed any or have you got any to add?