Can you make money in difficult times? Yes I understand you point out in Harvard Business Publishing, there are companies such as McDonalds or Wal-Mart typically capean the storm fairly well. Brands are known for offering a good price / value.
Normally, in times of uncertainty like the present, these companies manage to increase their sales. And although its benefits may not be as high as in good times, overcome the crisis without problems. Another example would be the same line of the table wine Don Simon, which has increased its sales by 30%.
It is true that these models, based on adjusted prices, are not easily applied in the field of freelance activity. But we can draw useful ideas and proposals for our business. Here we go:
3 strategies to respond to the crisis
According to marketing guru Philip Kotler, we adopt the following strategies to respond to the crisis:
1. Lower prices or create a better price / quality ratio. You can lower your rates, though this option is not usually recommended, and you can also create different promotions: discounts, two for the price of one, and so on.
2. Enter your product and service offering a low cost version, which had disappeared some features or benefits. It is possible that this low cost offer “snack is” the rest of your products or services, but that it is preferable to competition who devour your offer.
3. Adds additional benefits to your standard offering: you can offer free shipping, extended warranty, or facilitate the return of the product.
Security as a new value
In times of crisis, security becomes an important value. It’s something that maybe you should take into account to build your product and service offering. Some examples: Many companies try to mitigate the uncertainty and distrust in the immediate future, perhaps the main obstacle to purchasing and investment strategies that generate security.
In this line, the car manufacturer Hyunday agrees to buy back the vehicle if the customer is left without work. In Spain, there are many real estate offered by unemployment insurance, or commitment to repurchase the home if lower price during a specified period. Maybe you too can offer customers some form of “security”-material or psychological, to your products and services.
Adjust your supply to the new needs
As already mentioned, some of these measures are complicated to transfer a freelance activity, but we stay with the “essence”. For example, if some customers can not take 100 hours of a project for an 50, we offer reduced versions, fewer pages, fewer features, less extension, for a lower price. This means we can adapt to their specific needs with a smaller project: 50 hours by 25. The customer will appreciate our flexibility and our ability to adapt. And we do not lose the project, and not have to lower our prices.
Change without affecting the core values
The key to any of these strategies is not to harm the “core values” of our business. If we managed to get this far, doing quality work, we can increase the benefits, we can reduce the size or price, but we can never reduce the quality. That would mean destroying the image that we built and that has made our customers trust us.
Flexibility and anticipation
We are talking about giving answers to the crisis. ” But what if the uncertainties were here to stay? The economic crisis will not last forever, but the situation may be changing it. So the only possible solution is to anticipate the changes ahead. We must remain vigilant not only to what is happening-the demands of our customers and potential technological tools that are being imposed, the market niches that are opened, the proposals for the competition, but what will happen in the future.
What is it that my customers will demand tomorrow? What could offer them? Consider these questions is the only way to anticipate the changes. The good news is that, as independent professionals, we are much quicker and more agile than a company. Change is not as easy for a person to a complete organization.
You can view the article Making Money in Chaotic Times, published by Marshall Goldsmith in the Harvard Business Publishing.