Driving Sales in the Current Economic Climate
The frenzy of the bullish market looked unstoppable to many people; even the so called professionals of the financial market were caught up in the typhoon of prosperity. The share market was booming, business profits were skyrocketing, property prices were ever increasing and consumer spending was at an all time high. However, the path to everlasting wealth was halted by the global financial crisis of 2007-08. The crisis threatened the collapse of major financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments and the largest slump in the stock markets to date. The effects resulted in a global recession that lasted till 2012. Things have started to look better in 2013. There has been high confidence in stock markets, the housing market has been growing at a healthy rate and people are beginning to spend again. It is probably safe to say that we are currently in a boom. But how can you as a small business benefit from this? Here are a few points you can consider to boost your sales in the current economic climate.
Tapping into New Markets
You may begin noticing changes in your customer base. Customers that your service or product may not usually target for may start to appear due to changes in their economic circumstances. Goods which are income elastic (sensitive to changes in income) will usually see a rise in demand when people have more disposable income. Consumers may switch to more premium versions of a product when they can afford to do so. Therefore it is important for businesses to react to such changes in their customer base and expand their marketing to cover new markets. Make sure your product is of good quality as consumers may switch to alternatives if they consider your product to be inferior.
Providing the Best Customer Service
With new faces showing up to your business at a daily basis you may start to think that giving good customer service will not matter much. Unfortunately, history shows that although economic booms can last a while; they do not last forever. It is crucial that the standard of customer service remains high as it is the returning customers that will keep your business above the water when times become tough again. And when the times are good, it can only have a positive effect on sales.
Bringing in Talented People
Some businesses may struggle to cope with the surge in demand and begin to crumble under pressure. Costs will rise significantly in order to meet with unexpected demand, short-term liabilities may be unmet because of poor cash flow management and staff may feel overburdened due to a lack of training or experience in handling the new unforeseen problems. It is important to know the limitations of your workforce and accept the fact that the business may be growing at a rate that you can’t keep up. There are several ways to tackle these issues. You can hire staffs that are more experienced at working in a fast-paced environment. Another way is to have your personal accountants offer you advice on how to manage your business more efficiently and keep your costs down. Having access to professional guidance provides you the necessary knowledge for success.
Take advantage of cheap money from banks. Interest rates are generally lower and the terms to borrowing are more flexible during times of economic growth. This means that it is usually the most optimal time to borrow money and expand your business. Whether that may be to fund a new project, replace old equipment or train your staff; being ready for increases in demand can help reduce unexpected costs and accelerate business growth if planned correctly. Just be sure that you can meet the regular interest payments to avoid soiling the credit worthiness of your business.
Businesses that operate in accordance to changes in the season will know how difficult it is to keep afloat during periods of closure. For example, a sea side restaurant may get around 75% of its annual revenue during the summer time alone and will probably not be open for business during the winter season. Similarly, businesses may decide to open their business for fewer days of the week or cut their opening times if they face a slump in sales. In order to truly maximise the benefit of a booming economy, a business must be in business to attain such benefits. It will be difficult to see a significant rise in profits if your business is open for only four hours a day while your competitors get quadruple your profits rewards for working an extra four hours. Remember that once fixed costs are covered, any revenue in excess of its variable cost is pure profit.
By Wilson Law at Tax Affinity.
Tax Affinity Accountants are considered in the market to be experts in Tax and Accountancy in the UK. Based in Kingston upon Thames they have clients right across the UK as well as Europe, Middle East and North America.
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