Right now I see a question circling around many people’s minds. As inflation and the cost of living rises many are watching on in almost horror as large companies, and famous brands report record profits. While there is something to be said for corporate greed, or as I like to think about it, unethical capitalism, simply writing business growth in this way doesn’t help us. We have to look past the numbers and look at the behaviour.
I remember when I worked as a marketer for luxury brands when people’s purchasing power decreased they would look at what always worked. What was one product or service that they offered that was always required? For one of the brands I looked after it was a classic shirt. If our target client didn’t already have one in their wardrobe already they certainly aspired to have one. I remember that as we were facing the scenario of really unlocking cash flow (after all available cash is key to all businesses) we decided to increase the retail price. The result? Sales did not decline because of the continued demand and desire for the product AND we were able to unlock more profit from an existing product.
Because it was a staple in many people’s wardrobes. The brand, the style, it meant more to people than what was on the price tag.
The company knew what worked, where the demand was and that is at its core what I want to talk about today. When things get tough we need to back ourselves, understand our business better than anyone else, and double down on what we know works.
But what does this actually look like?
Well it looks like…
A Laser Focus on Profitability:
When times get tough, big businesses know exactly where to turn to maximise their profitability. They understand that it’s crucial to identify the products or services that yield the highest returns and prioritise them. By constantly tracking patterns and analysing data, they can make informed decisions that ensure their revenue streams remain strong.
Building Brand Resilience:
Successful big businesses invest significant effort in building a robust brand that can withstand economic fluctuations. They focus on creating strong emotional connections with their customers, nurturing loyalty and trust that extend beyond the current economic climate. This enduring brand equity serves as a protective shield, helping them maintain customer loyalty and even attract new customers during challenging times.
Capitalising on Opportunities:
Contrary to popular belief, economic downturns also bring forth new opportunities. Big businesses are keenly attuned to these possibilities and seize them with calculated precision. They keep a pulse on emerging trends, identify gaps in the market, and leverage their resources to capitalise on untapped potential. By diversifying their offerings or expanding into new markets, they stay one step ahead of the competition.
Having Conversations About Money:
If you aren’t tracking your figures, talking about where you can create profit and really watching your bottom line then you are setting yourself up for failure. Being aware of whether or not your business is actually growing is even more important as markets begin to shift. Each week mark down whether it increased or decreased and what actions you took within the past two weeks to create those changes. That way you are more easily able to double down on what’s working and continue to grow even when others might be struggling.
Big corporations have honed their strategies to navigate economic downturns successfully. By focusing on profitability, brand resilience, seizing opportunities, and cost management, they consistently emerge stronger and more resilient. As small business owners, we can learn valuable lessons from their playbook.
While the strategies employed by big businesses may not be a perfect fit for every organisation, they provide valuable insights and a framework to guide our decision-making during challenging times.If you feel as though you have gotten to stuck in the daily ‘doing’ within your business and can’t see the forest for the trees then maybe it’s time to get some help.
I’m inviting you to take the first step towards elevating your business and joining the amazing group of female business owners that make up my Elevate community. We’ll have the important conversations around money, positioning, and profit to make sure that you are able to weather any economic storm.
With doors for the current intake closing soon, if you’re even just a little curious I encourage you to look through the information here.
Who knows this just might be the decision that changes your trajectory completely.