If you’ve been beating your head against the wall in 2013 and you’ve run good campaigns without any appreciable uptick, is it time to quit? Of course not, but now is a good time to re-evaluate. I’m not talking about throwing out the whole idea for your business, just finding the right balance between your product, your price, your place, and your promotions. Consider these options for 2014: Work, Get Different Customers, Retire, and Move!
1) Start with what’s working.
What do your customers tell you about what they like? Who are your customers? What price points seemed to get all the action? What channels got the best measurable results? Work harder at getting more of those in 2014 and you’ll be more profitable.
2) Think about extending.
What are some logical extensions you can make to your existing product line that would increase sales with existing customers and pull in some similar customers. Consider how you could repackage at a different price point. This doesn’t just go for products, but services too. For example, could you offer a a 4-month program, instead of a 6 month program?
We’ve helped several businesses this year re-position their product line from being solely a consumer facing brand to one that includes a corporate offering. In this way they have taken what they do well and provided corporate packages which are more lucrative and take less effort per sale.
3) It might be time to retire.
While you’re at it, what didn’t work? If you have product lines that didn’t sell, or didn’t make money, or didn’t bring in customers with lifetime value, it would probably be wise to “retire” those products. In your 2014 marketing plan, consider what you could offer those customers to keep them in the mix but to make them more profitable. Consider bundling with other new products.
4) Maybe you should move?
If you sell from a storefront then moving might not be an option, but otherwise, analyze where your customers are doing their shopping. Is e-commerce an option? I am constantly amazed at what can be sold and serviced using a database and on-line chat. Is E-bay an option? People will sell anything on ebay now, including consulting services. How can you make it work for you. Can you sell at events, or in kiosks or anywhere else that your customers might be? Customers will buy where it is easiest and you need to go there.
As we approach the end of the year it really is a good idea to step out of the box and revisit the basic assumptions of last year’s plan.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!