Main Street Webworx does a lot of direct marketing. By now, if you’re a business in the Greenville area you’ve likely been the recipient of one of our postcards. I oftentimes scan our mailing list just to get a feel for who’s out there. I see so many businesses in the same categories. Especially service-oriented companies like accountants, architects, attorneys, more attorneys, auto shops, bars, beauty parlors, business consultants… (and that’s just from A to B). I ask myself, “How can all of these small businesses survive in the same category in the same down economy?” The answer is: They’re not. You’d be surprised how many of our postcards get returned because the addressee “is no longer there”. Fewer customers, the same number of competitors. Something’s gotta give.
Recessions have a way of “killing off” inefficient businesses. The good news is those who survive come out bigger and stronger than before. They inherit customers left behind by failed businesses! Fewer competitors, more customers. Macroeconomists refer to this phenomenon as “the cleansing effect of recessions”. The difference between winners and losers is simple: winners focus on their customers, losers focus on themselves.
What do you know about your customers?
Across the board, I can tell you this: Consumers are much more sophisticated today versus twenty years ago. I came from the Baby Boomer generation. My staff has an average age of about 28. I watch in amazement how these young consumer creatures shop and buy stuff. They won’t buy as much as a pizza, a haircut, or a T-shirt without first checking it out on the web. They read reviews and gather information before taking another step. And this shocked me… if the company they’re interested in doesn’t have a website or even has a crummy website, they simply will not consider them. Instead, they go to a company that does. What’s more, is they don’t just buy something and leave. My 29-year-old nephew and his buddies each post reviews on a restaurant right from the booth they’re sitting in, post-meal, directly from their smartphones.
The consumers of tomorrow have already arrived
Whether you’re an accountant, pizza joint, or a zoo – your customers expect an online presence. Without it, they can’t make good choices. I admit, while going through our mailing lists I randomly check to see if a particular business has a website and what it looks like. I don’t have a crystal ball but that information alone gives me a hint of who the winners are and who we might be getting a returned postcard from, marked “vacant” in the future.
Will you be relegated to the dustbins of history when this recession is finally over?
Still think you don’t need a website?