I read a great article in Business Week this morning. It was short, informative and really does apply to anyone in business (even little ‘ole me).
The gist of the article is quite simple and layed out in 5 steps.
It really got me thinking about how Professional Photography fits into hard economic times. My mind really wanders sometimes and usually it just sort of races around and doesn’t make much sense at all. Maybe it’s the elephant in the room? I dunno. But my thoughts kept going to what’s important to me and what I could and could not do without in these tighter economic times.
For instance, we are having a retaining wall rebuilt in our backyard as I write this. I woke up this morning to hammering! Did we want to spend the money on this right now? That would be a big fat NO! But we’d put it off long enough and before the wall began to crumble and caused further damage to the surrounding concrete we made the decision to do without in other areas and get it fixed!
I told you my mind wanders……..here’s another thought I had……..
We’re in business on the boardwalk in SC and we certainly wonder how tough financial times will affect the business. Well, so far, business has been good this year. The Boardwalk is a day trip, so unlike taking a long expensive trip and spending hundreds of dollars just on gas and even more on hotels, visitors can quite affordably come to the beach & boardwalk for a day (or weekend) and have a great time! Of course, if you come, you know you’ll want to splurge on a little boardwalk food! How ’bout a Funnel Cake, some Dippin’ Dots or a Self-Serve Slush??
My last thought, yes, all stemming from the article in Business Week, was……what is really important to me? What would I grab if there were a fire? Most of our stuff is just that…… stuff. I can replace my clothing, furniture and dishes. But I cannot replace memories and photographs!! I know exactly what I’d grab if I only had a short amount of time……..our family photos and computers!
Ok, back to the points of the article and my interpretations:
“Five Don’ts for Marketing in Tough Times” www.businessweek.com
1. Be smart and thrifty. Absolutely, think wisely before spending your money!
2. Marketing is muscle, not fat. You don’t want to lose all business by not marketing at all. Just be wise. In my case word of mouth is my best marketing tool. I try to go above and beyond for all my clients (even if it costs me a little more) and hope they spread the word.
3. Don’t loose focus by chasing business you wouldn’t normally want. I couldn’t agree more! In fact, just this week I told a friend of mine who’s trying to decide what to do with her wedding photography market, to focus on her focus (don’t waste time, energy and money marketing to a market she doesn’t want).
4. Don’t discount. Now here I have to disagree! While I understand the reasoning in the article, I believe everyone enjoys a discount/coupon/sale/freebie now and again!
5. Don’t neglect the elephant in the room. What the heck? See I told you there was an elephant!! Basically it just means that you can’t avoid it. We live in a 24/7 news society. It has affected everyone; from the cost of running a business, to the daily things like buying gas and grocery shopping. Be smart, have a plan, spend wisely!
Stay tuned, because I do believe in discounts and sales! I love them!