Cost Cutting Thursday! (where NOT to cut costs)

April 23, 2009 at 6:00 am 7 comments

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

Every Thursday, we introduce five cost cutting tips for your business.  However, there are certain areas of your business where you should not cut costs.  These are areas of your business that if you skimp on (or change) during a recession, you will sacrifice the integrity of your brand.

This week, I want to present  FIVE COSTS YOU SHOULD NOT BE CUTTING:

  1. Branding
    Your brand is everything.  This is an area that you cannot afford to cut corners during a recession.  You can make decisions about how you spend your money to promote your brand.  But, I would not change the way you present your brand in order to save money.  For example, I love my business cards.  Being in a stationery business, it is important that they reflect our brand.  If I were to lessen the quality of the cards, I would lose my brand integrity.  I can change the style if I want, but I must remain true to the brand of my product.
  2. Service
    Good customer service is priceless.  The mission of your business should not change in good times or bad times.  This is an area where you can shine.  Give your customer a value proposition and guarantee them that your service is worth the price of your services.
  3. The “little things”
    Every business has those “little things” that make it different and special.  Keep up with the little touches.  It’s what has given your business its outstanding reputation.
  4. Quality
    Do not skimp on the quality of your product during a recession.  If you lessen the quality of your offering, you are threatening the market niche you have defined.  It will be difficult to regain your target clientele when the economy improves.  Let’s say you are a wedding cake designer and you built your business on the reputation of using the best ingredients.  If you decide to cut costs and replace your yummy delicious sugar with a generic brand, your customers will notice the difference (bleh!) and it will affect your profits.
  5. Appearance
    This is the “overall look” of your business.  Have you let your blog slide?  Is your website outdated?  Is your shop sloppy?  You can still cut costs without letting the overall appearance of your business deteriorate.  Appearance, like branding, is the first thing the client sees… and, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Do you have thoughts to share with Sage Wedding Pros?  Post a comment, or send us an email at SageWeddingPros-at-gmail.com .

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Entry filed under: Market It, Money Savers, Strategy.

STOP! Are you checking your email? Insider to Insider: Michelle Loretta, Owner of mmm… paper

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lucy M  |  April 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Neat tips! 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Laura Randall  |  April 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    GREAT advice, Michelle. I’m amazed and encouraged at how many wedding vendors I see taking the time to refocus and rebrand themselves (us included!). This is the perfect time for that!

    Reply
  • 3. Marika Lane  |  April 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Very important tips for all businesses to consider ESPECIALLY because of the recession. Here’s one more tip: #6 don’t reduce your advertising budget, increase it during the recession.

    Reply
    • 4. Michelle Loretta  |  April 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Marika! That is a good tip… most people cut back on advertising during a recession, so there is a great opportunity to stand out from limited advertisers. But, I think you also have to be smarter about advertising dollars. You need to take a hard look at your ads and see which ones actually have positive returns on the investment. Increase dollars on the ads that pay off, and cut dollars on ads that don’t return any business.

      Reply
      • 5. Marika Lane  |  April 25, 2009 at 11:18 am

        Michelle, You’re exactly right. Be smarter with the advertising dollars and keep or increase ads that pay off for the business. Many times businesses don’t really know which ads are working and which are not, so it pays to ask customers how they found you in the first place. Using Google Analytics will help to show you where online traffic is coming from and if you use the goal conversion feature in Analytics then you’ll also know if customers converted into sales online.

  • 6. Bob Holl  |  April 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Michelle,Thanks for your sound ideas. You make many good points on reflecting about what and what not to do during a recession for your business.
    I have chosen to continue and do your five steps even before reading them here. It made me feel like I was on the right track.
    My new and updated web site is in the making and on the way.

    Reply
  • […] Make a budget and stick to it.  And, make sure that you aren’t cutting out on some the most important segments of your business: branding, service, and […]

    Reply

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