I live in Central Florida where we’ve been hit hard with the recession that is going on. Lots of my clients, and the people near me, are hurting. I know that some of my clients are fighting to stay alive, and I’m trying to help them. However, not everyone is so bright. Here are a couple of examples.
One of my clients is offering a year of discounts and promotions as he likes to call it. Each month a different promotion has been offered to his clients. This March he is offering free shipping on most of his products (up to $20/per product with no limits), last month, it was a price reduction. And while this means his profit margins have gone down, he is still in business and doing business.
Enter our local road toll agency: the Expressway Authority. Because of the economy, the agency has been seeing a decline in the number of travelers, and thus a reduction in revenue. Their solution is to raise the tolls, which will further price them out of the range of many users. Does this make sense? No of course not, but how often do we see this. I’ve seen it happen to several business – now is a time to help your customers not hurt them. Because as you drive up your prices, fewer will be able to afford your products and services.
The ugly news is that everyone is hurting. We can either hurt with them, but help them along, or we can try to act like nothing is happening, and hurt our customers and ourselves. Personally, I’ve been looking for ways to help my customers in ways such as:
- Not increasing my rates – I normally raise my rates about this time of the year to reflect cost of living increases, and productivity increases, however not this year. I need to remain affordable.
- Adding Services – I’m sending articles which might be of interest to my clients, adding services like website optimization to optimize not only the speed of the site (which I’ve done for years) but also improve the conversion of browser to buyer.
- Helping with Marketing – helping design marketing emails and landing pages to deliver new deals to existing customers, and introduce new customers to their services.
We can choose to keep going as we have, and risk getting knocked out, or we work together to continue to survive and even grow. Because of some of these efforts, I’ve actually seen an increase in the demands for my services as people look for alternatives to grow their business in these tough times.
These times are tough, but they don’t have to be as tough if we stay in touch with our customers’ needs.