It’s no secret that the economy goes through cycles. Each time it takes a downturn, unfortunately, salespeople, business owners and professional service providers feel the fallout.
Data released by various sources, including the SBA and American Entrepreneurs Association, reveal that more than 50 percent of all businesses close their doors within their first seven years. During a recession, the rate of business failure rises more dramatically. Not included in the statistic cited above are the departments, plants or whole divisions closed by large corporations when times are tough. In today’s ever-changing business environment, if you want to be successful, you need to have an edge over your competition.
Most businesses rely on advertising in one or more ways to try to get an edge. However, if you offer the same products or services through the same means to the same targets as your competitors, it’s difficult to achieve an edge. This means you need to be very creative in order to be competitive in today’s marketplace. Creativity in marketing your business has become a basic tenet for today’s successful company or professional practice. Here’s a great story of how one business exemplified creativity at its finest in order to gain an edge:
Three store owners shared adjacent storefronts in the same building. Times were tough. In hopes of picking up sales, the store owner at one end of the building put a sign over his front entrance that said, “YEAR-END CLEARANCE!!!” At the other end of the building, a second owner responded with his own sign: “ANNUAL CLOSE-OUT.”
The store owner in the middle knew that he had to act fast or he’d lose a lot of business. After careful consideration, he hung a larger sign over his front door that read, “MAIN ENTRANCE.”
The moral of this story: You can’t control the economy. You can’t control your competition. But you can control your response to the economy. And you can control your response to your competition.
If you have a great example of how you’ve used creativity to get an edge over your competition, I invite you to share it in the comment section. Your story could be just the encouragement other business owners need to get their imaginations in gear!