What? Me worry?
Ok, I know the economic climate has changed out there. I know that oil prices have dropped, companies are cutting back on their operating budgets, and people have been laid off.
But I refuse to take the “Chicken Little” approach.
Anyone who has been in the patch for more than a few years – in fact anyone who has grown up or lived in Alberta – knows that there are swings in oil and gas prices. Sometimes, big swings!
And anyone in business knows that there are economic cycles to every industry from time to time.
So what I am suggesting is that this, too, shall pass.
Instead of focusing on the lower price of oil, look instead at the opportunities that this cycle can provide.
Does this mean that I am blind to what is happening out there? Of course not. Just like you, my business has been touched by this downturn – just as it has been in previous downturns. Yet, we survive. And in some cases, we thrive.
One of the first things that businesses seem to cut when revenues are tight is their marketing. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but it is the truth; when times are tough, you must keep marketing your products and services. You may have to adjust, you may have to adapt, but you must keep marketing.
Here are some tips to help you weather this current price slump and position you to do even better once prices recover:
1. Work on your client relationships. How strong are your relationships with your current clients? We all know that people prefer to do business with others who they like, know and trust. Are you that person to your clients? Have you developed a strong rapport with them? If so, you are already ahead of the game. If not, it’s time to take a look at how you build relationships now and for the future.
2. Become more visible. Don’t hide in your office waiting for prices to rebound. Your clients and prospects just might forget about you. Be sure to keep in touch with them and attend networking events. Stay visible!
3. Communicate in ways that allow you to capture business in the easiest way. Consider more email marketing to your existing clients and prospects. Be sure that your content is well written, and you may wish to present a compelling offer to those most loyal to your business.
4. Get noticed for free. Marketing does not have to cost money, although you do have to commit to spending some time. Do you use social media? Find out which online forums, message boards and blogs are relevant to your business and consider joining the discussions. You can also consider using social media methods such as video blogs, and social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Use these online methods to encourage conversation about you and your business, and showcase your products.
5. Finally, don’t believe everything you hear. Back to my original comment; don’t focus on the negative media attention. Lots of analysts have predicted terrible things, not just during this downturn, but over the course of many economic cycles, and few ever turn out as bad as predicted. How you look at things will play a huge role in how you weather this storm. True, it can be difficult to stay positive, but it is essential to stay focused on your goals.
One thing you can be sure of, the economy will continue to have its cycles. While business may be more challenging right now, stay focused, work smarter, and above all – keep marketing!
Until next time…
This article was published in the February 2015 issue of the Oilfield Pulse Newsletter.
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