Recessions and business
I believe everyone by now has heard of the recession that we are all in. Some businesses have fared just fine. Some have gone out of business but one thing is certain, it is not pretty out there. We have also felt the recession mainly because we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes and some have been hit pretty hard. Lately though, we have seen some light on the horizon and it seems as though things are picking up out there.
What we have noticed
The time frame I’m speaking within is about January 1, 2009 through August 24, 2009. We talk to many businesses and early this year we heard many stories that businesses were cutting back. Any B2B (business-to-business) can most likely agree that it has been a little slower lately. Lately though, the business owners we have been chatting with are opening up to the idea of spending more money and increasing their business. This is a great sign for anyone in the advertising industry, partly because in a recession scenario, advertising is one of the first things to be cut.
What you can expect
While businesses deal with the current economic conditions, you can bet they are looking for ways to stay in business. This usually means that businesses that can help them spend less and be more efficient will be in demand. You can also expect that most of the businesses that are choosing to do nothing during a recession will be going out of business. This will also mean that the customers that those businesses served will be looking for other companies to complete the work. If your businesses is able to pull through these tough times, I imagine the internet and a great sales staff will be key to the survival. You can also expect the internet to grow, even through the recession. People will tend to stay at home and use tools that they are already paying for. They will also be looking for additional ways to save money, ways to educate themselves, cheaper products and services and coupon shop. All of this brought to their doorstep by the internet, courtesy of web designers everywhere.
Bootstrap marketing ideas
If your business is in rough shape, you may find help on the internet for some ways to get the word out about what you offer. I would recommend sitting with key decision makers in your organization and brain storming for ideas that could help you get the word out. Here are a few:
- PPC (pay per click) search engine campaign
- SEO (search engine optimization) optimize your business for the search engines
- Write articles for your website
- Restructure your website
- Keyword research
- Call your current clients and ask how they are doing and if they need additional services
- Add some additional services to your business
- Go to a few tradeshows and strike up conversations with business owners that could use your services
- Send out a mailer to businesses you’d like to work with. Add on a great offer.
- Think of where your potential customers might go to find more information about the industry you serve. Send an article to a magazine that they read.
Chin up! Charge the mountain!
Staying motivated is necessary in a recession climate. Keeping all sales staff on top of their game and looking at the bright side of what is happening can have a positive effect on your business. Recessions are part of today’s economy. If you structure your business the right way, you will roll right though a down economy and be in a position and pick up business that your used-to-be competitors dropped.
Affordable Website Design
When building an affordable website design, there are 5 key factors that can help guide the project to completion while keeping it affordable. These factors tame the project from going out of control and spending unnecessary money. Follow these factors and you will be well prepared and shouldn’t have a problem building an affordable website design:
Know the goal of the website before you get started with the project.
This rule is listed first for a reason. It is very important to know where you would like to go or what you would like to do before you put out any money to get something done. It may seem like a no-brainer, but people sometimes jump into building an affordable website without any idea of what to do. When this step is skipped, there isn’t a focus and clients tend to get a little of everything and often not in the areas that they had expected. This step is crucial when trying to keep within the boundaries of an affordable website design.
Building an affordable website design can take time.
There is an old saying in the design business: “quality, price or time, pick any two.” This explains the trade-offs when working on a design project. For example, the project can be made with “price” and “time” as factors, but the “quality” of the project will suffer. Another example, the project can be made with “price” and “quality”, but the “time” or the quickness of getting the project done will suffer. With an affordable website design, the “cheap” or price is the focus of the project right away, pick the other factor: “good” or “fast.”
“…it is important to focus on providing easy ways for the customer to get the information they want.”
Put less focus on the overall design and make sure the usability of the website is clear.
When building an affordable website design, it is important to focus on providing easy ways for the customer to get the information they want. The design of your website doesn’t have to be revolutionary. We have seen websites that offer “cutting edge” design, but when it is placed in front of users they get confused and leave to find the information they were looking for on a competitor’s website. Most of the time in business, your customers don’t care about how fancy your website is, they want to know what you can do for them. Information that is readily available and easy to read helps them with their decision making process.
“It may seem like a no-brainer, but people sometimes jump into building an affordable website without any idea of what to do.”
Help your affordable website design grow by including it in your other advertising.
This is one area where you can help, that not every business takes advantage of. It seems like a no-brainer, but some businesses do not put their website address on their other marketing items. We see this as a huge waste of such a valuable resource. It is similar to shutting the door in the face of a person who wants to do business with you and then sitting down and wondering why your business is struggling. It takes very little effort to include a website address on all your marketing materials for your business and it helps tremendously. An affordable website design can help convert traffic from your other marketing activities to your front door.
Talk with your professional website designer to see what options might be available for you.
When you deal with a professional web site designer, they know what certain items and features cost and can make suggestions of what is possible within a certain budget. This can be a very useful tool when trying to build an affordable website design. It is best to know what options are available to you so you can make the best decision when utilizing your resources.
In conclusion, keep these 5 factors in mind when building an affordable website design. Know the goal of the project. Realizing that the project will take time to complete. Focus on usability for your customer. Include the website address in your other advertising and keep the lines of communication open with your website designer. These factors will help guide the project and make sure that it gets done effectively, efficiently, on time and on budget.