The slow economy can be a scary thing for your small business.. I have located some great articles with some principles we can apply to our Etsy business..
Recession Pricing Do's and Don'ts
by Reed Holden and Mark Burton
Pricing during an economic downturn or recession is tricky. Too often, companies simply cut prices to attract more sales. The right pricing, however, can help a company compete and even thrive during difficult economic times. Here are some pricing do's and don'ts for a recession:
• Define the value you offer to your customers. Any knowledge of the value you deliver to your customers gives you greater control over, and confidence in, your pricing. Interview your customers to find out how they view your products and services.
• Create a range of low- to high-value offerings. Bundle your products and services--and establish price accordingly--which enables you to appease both cost-conscious and value-conscious customers without cutting prices.
• Control company costs and reduce inefficiencies. Streamlining your company's processes and expenses is good for business in any economy. Reducing prices to generate more sales will not improve your business in the long term.
• Invest in innovation to offer something unique. Funnel funds into R&D so you have new products and services that give you negotiating flexibility with customers and sales growth. Innovation gives you an edge when customers are seeking something new to lift up their own financial prospects during an economic downturn or when coming out of one.
• Discount your products or services in order to compete. Getting into a price war with your competitors--without adjusting the value of the product or service--will just send you and your competition swirling into a downward pricing death spiral where no one wins.
• Reduce prices on your high-value products and services. During a recession, a better strategy is to keep high-value products priced appropriately, but focus on selling more low-value products and services.
• Play poker with price-driven customers. When cost-driven customers threaten to take their business elsewhere, either: (1) confidently point out the unique value your product and service offers, which justifies the price you charge, or (2) let the customer take his business and badgering to your competitor instead::: businessknowhow.com
by Bob Leduc
Use the customer base you have.
Ask Them To Help You Find New Customers
Ask your customers for referrals. Reward them for each referral that becomes a customer. Your reward could be a discount on their next order or a special bonus item. Announce your referral program to customers with low cost communication tools like email, postcards or personal phone calls.
Offer Some "Big Ticket" Items
Some of your potential customers are not affected by a poor economy -- or they benefit from it. Others may place a higher value on your products or services when the economy is bad. These prospects are willing spend much more with you than your average customer. Don't forfeit this income. Find or create additional products or services similar to those you now offer ...but with a much higher price.
For example, one online marketer recently packaged her latest "how to" book with several eBooks and a "members only" website. She priced this special package about 8 times more than the average size order placed by her customers.
Her number of sales declined when the economy slowed down. But her sales volume and net profit are still growing. The dollars produced by a small number of these "big ticket" sales more than replaced the dollars she lost because of fewer average size sales:: by Bob Leduc
Blogging has become a awesome way for us etsians to promote our Etsy shops. Through giveaways... artists features...polls.. and much more, the blog sphere is a vital part to your Etsy business. With the bad economy, blogging is even more important.. due to the fact that is FREE. Check out the article below all about blogging from RSSApplied.com
Growing Your Business In A Slow Economy
Many entrepreneurs have turned to the Internet because they now see that it’s a viable business channel. It presents a significant opportunity for growing your business and those companies that aren’t on the Internet are vulnerable because consumers are moving to the Internet in droves.
At this stage in the game, it’s simply not enough to have a Web site. If growing your business is important, you need to provide a way for consumers to interact with you and your business. A well-written, focused blog is a great way to reach out to your potential market. When you engage your consumers – and potential consumers – you put a very powerful tool to work. No contemporary business Web site should be without a blog, but many companies miss out on this opportunity.
Most US consumers have access to the Internet and they put it to good use. They research products, services and vendors. They look for specialty items that are hard to find. They look for suppliers and other consumers who share their interests. They seek out opinions, new products, product reviews, tips, information they can use, how-to’s, tools and discussion forums.
Not surprisingly, by providing these value-adds in the form of a business blog, you’ll find yourself growing your business in no time. One of the real benefits of the Internet is that it removes limitations that your brick-and-mortar business may experience. People who want your products and services can reach you 24 hours a day from wherever they are. Knowing where your customers are is half of the battle, and knowing what they want will put you light years ahead of your competition.RSSApplied.com