Is the USA in a Recession?
There’s a lot of discussion as to whether the US is in a recession or not. Quite frankly, I don’t think it matters whether what’s going on is technically a recession or not.
The truth of the matter is, things are getting tougher every day in the US and that means that doing business in the US will get more difficult.
What’s more difficult to predict is how it will affect your business. This is true even if you are outside of the US and don’t actively trade with the US.
The US economy still drives a lot of the world economy and if you run a business, you need to prepare to deal with reduced demand and some of the other things that go with an economic slowdown.
If the recession doesn’t affect you, that’s great but at least you were prepared.
Let’s assume for a moment you want to be prepared, what’s the first thing you’ll notice? I’ve been through a few of these cycles and what is most noticeable are that there are fewer buyers. When there are fewer buyers, your marketing becomes even more critical to your success.
I’ve covered this before, but there are only 3 reasons people don’t buy:
- They don’t want what you are selling.
- They can’t afford what you are selling.
- They don’t believe you.
In a recession fewer people want what you are selling because they are facing reduced demand for what they sell and are being careful about how they spend money.
Of course, if business is down many people can’t afford what you are selling.
This means that you have to get better at:
- Focusing on identifying and finding your ideal prospects.
- Differentiating yourself from your competition.
One of the first steps in marketing successfully is to understand who your ideal prospects are and diligently focus all of your efforts on selling only to them. This laser like focus results in greater return on your marketing dollars and efforts.
Unfortunately, very few businesses are clear about exactly who their target prospects should be and as a consequence waste time, money and effort chasing inappropriate prospects.
In an economic down cycle this can be disastrous. Businesses that were previously profitable in the good times, suddenly find themselves running out of cash as their marketing spend increases and their conversion rates fall.
In a recession there are always people who are buying, they are just harder to find and this becomes your challenge.
By definition Ideal Prospects have the need for what you sell and the means to pay for it. So if you know who they are and where to find them, life suddenly gets much easier. Identifying your Ideal Prospect is an analytical process based on your current client base.
Being clearly differentiated is always an important tool in attracting more of the right clients. When things are difficult, it’s even more important as people want to deal with firms that can quickly and efficiently solve their problems. Having a clear identity that differentiates you from your competitors gives you a competitive advantage. It helps prospects understand why they should choose you and not your competition.
Developing a Unique Marketing Identity is both analytical and creative. You need to understand what your prospects want at a deeper level and then you have to creatively describe what you do in terms that immediately interest your prospects.
If you are not making the sales you want, which of the three reasons outlined here are the cause? These reasons are true even in non-recessionary times. Whichever you identify doesn’t matter, there is a solution.
If they don’t want what you are selling, you’ll have to learn to find and attract more ideal prospects and you have to use your Unique Marketing Identity to show them why you are the logical choice.
If they can’t afford what you are selling, again you’ll have to learn to find more ideal prospects by better targeting your marketing activities.