‘The big “R-word”. It seems to be popping up everywhere lately, as the predictions for a “double-dip recession” abound. But what exactly does this mean for your inflatable business? Are you tightening the purse strings, cutting back on business expenses? Or have you had to cut back on staff, due to a decrease in business?
When times are tight inflatable businesses need to trim the fat from their operating expenses where they can. And quite often significant cutbacks, or even entire elimination, are made in the marketing activities. While this does save money and improve your cash flow in the short term, the long lasting effects to your business can be catastrophic. When the economy begins to rebound your inflatable business may end up watching from the sideline, unknown to your prospects and forgotten by your customers. Competitors who have continued to market their own inflatable businesses during this downturn may have too strong of a strong hold on your target market, meaning potential devastation for your business.
So what is an inflatable business owner on a tight budget to do? The easiest solution is to pare down your marketing to the most cost effective mediums, with the highest return on your investment. A simply designed flier, even in black and white, can be an effective marketing tool for the inflatable industry. Fliers can be dropped off at local hotspots to be used as hand-outs, tacked to community bulletin boards or simply dropped off door to door. The expense to create and distribute this is minimal, and the effort you put forth will continue to keep your name in the minds of your prospective customers.
There are also plenty of opportunities to list your inflatable business on the internet, many of which are free or for a nominal fee. Take advantage of these opportunities as well. Email marketing is another economical way to reach your target audience. Whether you have your own customer list or are looking to purchase one, the cost is certainly budgetary. The reach of this type of marketing is also often quite expansive, with a very favorable return on your investment.
While business is slow you may find that you have more time on your hands. Rather than twiddling your thumbs and hoping for the phone to ring try to come up with some more innovative (and free!) marketing ideas for you business. Consider offering your inflatables service to a local charity for no charge. Your product will be out in the public for the cost of your labor only. You can even take this type of opportunity to hand out business cards to the parents and visitors. This is typically something they will hold onto, particularly if you have put your best foot forwards, prevent and clean, safe activity and a professional business manner.
While business may be down right now, the future is bright and you need to ensure that your business’ future is secure by continuing to market your inflatable business through good and bad economies alike.