Short-Term Strategy Doesn't Lead To Long-Term Success
There needs to be clarity regarding short term strategies and its effects on long term success. Too many times people get focused on the short game and lose sight of the end game. When creating short term strategies, you really need to see how it affects long term goals. Does it create a set back that you will have to rebound from? What impact do you expect for it to make and why is it important? How does it affect those that work for you or the team you lead?
All of these questions should be weighed before making your decision. If a short term strategy is laying off employees to reduce overhead instead of figuring out away to get out of the slump, how do you expect to handle the next slump that's guaranteed to come? You will, more than likely, do the exact same thing without providing a solution. You are putting a bandaid on a problem when you should be turning your energy into finding a solution. You know how expensive it is to hire and train a new employee? Cycling your workforce to address a problem creates even more problems down the road.
Address the issue head on. Dig into your data and see where your deficiencies are. Go back to your reviews and see what people are saying about the business. Build on those things. Take time to add additional training to your workforce. All of these things will give you a different perspective on how to handle the slump. Your last strategy is to lay off your workforce, it will cost your company more in the long run.
Another strategy used in businesses, reduce marketing to balance or create a bigger bottom line. Why would you reduce your visibility if you are trying to increase profitability? Once again, dig into the issues. Why are you seeing reduction in traffic? Do you know what your market share is in comparison to your competitors? Is your marketing strategy reaching the right consumer? Does your process need to be retooled to attract referrals? Has your customer experience been less than perfect?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. The consumer market is ever changing which means that your overall marketing strategy needs to adapt to the changes. Research what your competitors are doing and what makes them stand out. Understanding what they are doing and comparing it to the market share is valuable information that allows you to make informed decisions regarding your marketing strategy.
Retooling your process to create efficiencies and effectiveness is overlooked more than it should be. Think about it, if we were using the same technology today as we were in the 60's, how much progress do you think we would have made? Why would you not revamp a process that is 20 years old? I know, the old saying is if it isn't broke don't fix it, but every machine needs an update. You should always look for new ways to create efficiencies and effectiveness within your process.
Customer experience should be front and center. When was the last time you reached out or surveyed your clients about their experience? Your client feedback is vital to understanding what you are great at and what needs improvement. This resource is the easiest of them all and something that should be done on a consistent basis. Your goal is creating the best experience for your client. Word of mouth is the best marketing for any company.
Next time you are looking to combat a slump or increase profitability for the short term, really understand the lasting effects it will have. What or who are you willing to sacrifice so you can reach a goal that is only good for the month or the quarter?
Continually looking at your marketing strategy for effectiveness, retooling your process for efficiencies, staying in tune with your consumer, and investing into your employees will reduce the time of a slump when it comes and prevent you from having to make unwelcomed decisions.