ISSUE 5 - aug/sept 2013

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Are better times ahead?

Small Business survival


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Small Business survival tips

As you may have read in our article "Are Better Times Just Around The Corner?", things have been tough in small business for many years.


In tough economic times, it's all about survival.

Here are a few strategies…


Business Fundamentals

When times are tight, it's even more important to provide the best customer service you can.
Get the simple things right… answer the phone quickly whenever humanly possible, turn up on time, call the customer if you're delayed, and clean up when you finish.

And always, always leave a business card, or better still a fridge magnet.

It's this simple stuff that leads to customers telling their friends how good you are!


Cost Effective Marketing

What has made this economic downturn even more difficult is the changing way that small business advertises.
It's all about getting found online and there are now countless choices out there.
At the very least, you need a good quality website that gets found online.
But beware of the shonks out there promising the world - they usually don't deliver.
Do your homework and always ask for legitimate, proven results.
You don't need to spend a fortune to advertise your business effectively, you just need to find the right people to help.
Click here to read our article on "How To Advertise Your Plumbing Business".


Focus On Your Local Area

People do not want to think they are spending money on you driving half way across town to get to the job.
Become the 'go to' plumber in your area by marketing your business locally.


Special Offers

If there is competition in your area, offer a 'locals discount' or 'pensioner discounts' if you service an ageing demographic.
Or try an 'online discount' - it all helps you to stand out from other plumbers.
But try not to drop your overall pricing structure - it drags everyone's prices down and it could result in everyone 'working for nothing'.


Mobile Considerations

Use your mobile phone number in your marketing. It looks far more personal.
And avoid using 1300 or 1800 numbers if possible - it could make your business look too big.
Also, if you have a website, make sure you have a mobile specific version.
39% of visits to this website are on mobile devices, so make it easy for your mobile customers!


Cutting Costs

The natural reaction to a downturn in business is to cut costs, but be careful in your approach.
If you cut too deep, your business might never recover.
But if you don't cut enough, cash flow problems could force your business to the brink.
So use good judgment when you determine what and where to cut and by how much.



It is extremely difficult to reduce staff, but sometimes the very survival of a small business relies on reducing wages.
But look at different staffing options before you lose good people.
Changing from full time staff to contracting staff on a needs basis could work for your business.
Or putting on an apprentice rather than a qualified tradesman might provide the help you need, without the big wages bill.


Surviving in small business in a tough economy requires a positive outlook, good strategy and hard work.

And always remember, tough times don’t last forever!

Have you had to make changes to your business?

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