If the outlook for your business doesn’t look good this year, then you need to do something about it.
There are ways to morph what you’ve got into something more successful. I’ve listed 3 further down this post, but first …
My industry prediction for Australia in 2015 is … BAD. Most of our clients are small businesses and I talk with a few guys who work in primary industry or small supporting & manufacturing business.
Work’s not looking good for them this year and without getting heavily into the politics of it, it’s apparent to these guys that our manufacturing industry is on it’s last legs. We can’t compete with China due to the heavy business regulation in Australia and our participation in international “free trade” agreements.
Our steel industry is gone, the last car manufacturing plant in Victoria closed last year and the mines up here in the Hunter aren’t turning a profit. This filters down to all the smaller supporting businesses who then don’t get employed. Lots are going out of business.
What can you do to get ahead of it ?
We have 25 million people in AustraIia who want to buy stuff and who need help getting things done. So I think that distributing products made elsewhere and consulting & training are the areas that have most opportunity.
Three options …
(1) Source and sell a similar product.
If you’ve been building widgets STOP IT. Look for some in China instead and have your staff learn how to import and distribute them. And when you sell them, offer set-ups or intro-training as an up-sell.
You already know about your product or service, so you’re highly qualified to research similar products and make decisions about them. You’re also the ideal person to promote them.
(2) Re-purpose or re-align an existing product.
A first step of any business is to look at the product that you have and what you can provide to people.
Repurposing is a marketing concept where you take what you already have, and present it in a different medium. For example a video can be converted to a manual and offered to a new crowd of people.
It can be applied to any service or product. Look at other potential customers who may want your product if it were “re-packaged” and presented differently or if it were modified slightly.
A totally fictitious example would be a manufacturer of hampster cages who finds there’s a bigger market for chicken coops. He could re-brand his cages and add a perch.
There are a lot of people who like to be shown how to do something and save themselves the hassle of working it out. Generating business from this requires locating the people who want to know what you know, and building up some trust and goodwill. Then they’ll ask you for help.
The first step, no matter what your strategy is this year, is to get noticed. Income seems to be proportional to the amount of attention you can get, so aim to be noticed BIG TIME.
Attention is easier to get now than prior to the internet, and with internet marketing you can also make sure your offers appear in front of the exact type of people who are likely to be interested in what you do.
Facebook has become the best source of traffic over the last year because of it’s incredible targeting and cheaper costs than Adwords.
Steps for a plan …
I was going to write a checklist from scratch, but found that I’ve already covered most things in PDFs and posts that I wrote last year ( some of you may already have these, so I’ll encourage you to follow them through ! )
- Find out what's selling and what people want ... grab an action plan from here.
- Re-align products where needed ( more research steps are here ) or source a supply of them.
- Get the whole online thing working. Easier said than done, but marketing102 might help you out, or look through our blog on how to do stuff.