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23
December

Starting a new business in an economic downturn is like walking through a minefield. Although a depression familiarizes an entrepreneur with a wide range of risky challenges and obstacles, I believe that with enough planning, dedication and strategizing, a successful company can stake their claim in the worst of times.

Most companies that go bankrupt are the ones that never market what they’re all about. One of the reasons is that people have no idea they could buy your product or service. You’ll lose billions. Don’t just think, ‘this is awesome. I’d definitely pay for it.’ Your own features will blind you, so you must always think about the people who can’t afford it right now if you want to gauge demand.

This economy will give you less elbowroom to work with when it comes to people’s affordability factor. In times like these, you have to know your market more than you know yourself before you invest your time, money, and life in a new business.

When you get the ball rolling, you want to be sure that your idea is feasible and there is a demand for it. So, after analyzing the data that shows you can turn a healthy profit, try to squeeze in plenty of benefits and perks. Sometimes you have to buy at retail and ship your orders yourself at a loss so you can keep your best customers happy. When you start to see how everything is working, you’ll want to expand your operation, buying bigger wholesale orders and making deals to guarantee a smooth process for every department is worth the effort. Soon you’ll be shipping thousands of orders, and a huge chunk of that will be from previous customers who are now referring you to their social network.

By talking to the people you serve, you’ll understand their priorities, such as free shipping and personalized service. You know now they love to speak to real people over the phone when they have any questions or concerns. Your customer service reps are paid for one simple thing: to please the customer. They patch the holes in your business model. They make everybody’s life easier.

A customer will probably shop from you before they finally get involved with your company, when they’re used to your shopping experience. Then, as time continues to march on, they buy something from you again, such as a highly sought after product. But this time they’ve read the product comments on your site that said something that got them really worried. They’re going to call your customer service department and you should be ready to recommend another brand that you source as a backup. They will go through with a new order even though they had to take the time to be sure. After the dust finally settles, you’re customers will be happier long run, especially when they rave about you to their family and friends. Before you know it, they too will be buying from you.

On top of making sure the masses will actually buy what you’re selling, and employing highly-trained customer service representatives, try to revolve your business around something that is hard for your competitors to match. This is going to be one of the reasons why you’re such a success. It’ll be hard for others to reproduce.