Bad economic news does not have to be bad news for your small business. Your business can thrive and grow during an economic slowdown. Here are three things you can do immediately to overcome the impact of a slowing economy.
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How To Grow Your Business In An Economic Slowdown

Bad economic news does not have to be bad news for your small business. Your business can thrive and grow during an economic slowdown. Here are three things you can do immediately to overcome the impact of a slowing economy.

1. Get More For Your Advertising Expense

The return on your advertising expense will shrink during bad economic times unless you take specific actions to prevent it. Look for ways to keep your sales volume growing without increasing your advertising expense. For example:

* Negotiate Price With Advertisers

Advertisers are hit hard during an economic slump. Many are willing to negotiate a special discount to keep your business -- or to get it away from their competitors. Take the initiative when you're placing an ad. Ask for a discount ...or a bigger discount than one already offered.

* Trim Your Ads

Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads without increasing your total cost. Don't be surprised if some of your short ads generate a bigger response than your long ads. The most effective ad I ever used was only 11 words.

* Generate Free Publicity

Start a publicity program for your business ...or expand the one you already have. Publicity produces sales for a much lower cost then advertising. For example, find something newsworthy about your business. Write about it in a news release and distribute it to publishers.

2. Take Advantage Of Your Existing Customers

Your customers already know you and trust you. It's easier and cheaper to get more business from them than to get any business from new prospects. Here are two ways to use your relationship with customers to generate additional business.

* Offer Them Related Products Or Services

Find or create additional products and services you can offer to existing customers (and to new prospects). Your new products or services should be closely related to those your customers originally bought from you.

For example, I recently spoke with a network marketer selling nutritional products. She also works with a health club that pays her a commission for each new member she signs up. Over one third of her income is generated by offering the related product to her customers.

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