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Wyoming Business Tips for March 27-April 2

March 18, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Robert Condie, WSBDC southwest regional director

“How do I, as an entrepreneur, stay alive in an economic downturn?” Chelsea, Green River

During these current economic hard times in the state Wyoming, here are just a few pointers on what to do to survive and move forward:

-- Create a business plan. One of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur in a time of a downturn is either refer back to your business plan or plan on writing one as soon as you can. Having this plan in place helps you think back on what you wanted to accomplish when you started the business and compare numbers that you projected at the beginning. It also helps your business strategize and confront a downturn even before it comes.

-- Rationalize spending. Taking a good look at your spending habits is a great way to not only know what is going on in your business, but also help find things that might not be as pertinent to the going concern of the business. Streamline your processes as much as possible without hurting production when prioritizing essential expenditures. Implementing flexible working setup without terminating staff is considered productive and also can be an option to lower costs.

-- Invest in marketing. Small businesses compete for a smaller share of the pot, making it even more important to remain visible and convince people why they should choose you. Keeping your name in the minds of your customers and potential customers is important when people start to become warier of spending their money. Set aside some funds to promote your products or services in the most cost-effective way possible.

-- Existing customers. Doing all you can to keep existing customers can bring in a consistent source of revenue during harder times. Keeping current customers is less expensive than finding new ones. So, instead of spending more to attract new customers, focus on the existing with promotions or coupons, and make sure the existing clientele know that you appreciate them and their loyalty.

-- Deliver outstanding customer service. Something that can often be overlooked and seen as less important is outstanding customer service. Customers are more likely to return to a store after they have received outstanding customer service. Going above and beyond, offering things like fast delivery, courteous staff and great follow-up, are some ways to help current customers stay loyal to your brand during a downturn.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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