Find entries by tag

Posted by Sarah Brown on 14 Jun '22

Ideas for saving money and increasing income

It's just over 40 years since inflation was at a similar level to today. I can't pretend to remember what people did then, but I have a few ideas about what you can do now if you feel you are drowning in the wave of inflation.

Stay calm

The media and people you talk to can make you feel poor and worried, even if inflation hasn't significantly impacted you yet. I am not being clever and saying it isn't happening; just that stressed thinking will not help, just as panicking when drowning isn't a good idea.

Prepare for the wave to hit, take a deep breath and ride with it.

Just like a wave, you can't control inflation; you must aim to stay afloat.

So here are a few of my life raft ideas, and I promise I will now stop the wave analogy before you stop reading.

Decide on your strategy for raising prices

Your costs will rise unless you alter how you operate, which I will talk about in a moment. Do you want to do small regular price increases or an annual/six monthly larger one? The answer will depend on how your customers buy from you, how price sensitive they are and how easy it is for them to change suppliers. You know what you charge, but often customers really don't remember, particularly for infrequent purchases. Take control and also communicate clearly.

Don't be a King Canute

Don't think like King Canute that you can hold back the tide of cost increases (sorry about the sea analogy again). What is a disaster, as I know from my Dyno-Rod days, is that being afraid to raise your prices and leaving it for too long can be disastrous in all sorts of ways. Overnight, as head of sales and marketing, I had to increase the price by 66% because the owner had been scared to do it, and the price had become dangerously and unrealistically low. So low, in fact, that it lost the company customers because no one thought it could be that cheap and be the brand they had heard of or a good service.

Think marketing package

Price is just one part of the marketing package. Can you adjust what you offer so you can keep your prices steady? Offer options to clients. The price if we deliver or meet face to face is ..., the price if you pick up or we meet digitally is .... . Give the customer the option.

And if you are a customer, ask if you can have a lower price if you are happy to collect or not have part of what is offered.

Even better, work together as customer and supplier, and collaborate to find solutions that will help you both thrive in these challenging times.

What other ways could you adjust your marketing mix?

Do you spend a lot on promotions and advertising to get new customers? Ask your existing good customers to provide referrals to people like them. Explain that this will help you keep your promotional costs down so you can keep your prices steady.

Get strategic

Think about the bigger picture. Customers will be expecting changes, so you have the opportunity to adjust your business model because of the changing environment if you want to.

Do you have cash flow issues? Encourage earlier payment and purchase by announcing a price increase in advance.

As things change, you need to change as well.

This blog, "Are you going to ride the wave as confidence returns to the economy?" is also focused on waves but more positively. (It was written in 2014) But it includes some handy tips on getting strategic

Nurture your existing relationships

In my experience, in times of stress nurturing existing relationships is particularly critical. Loyalty is compelling; the closer you are, the stronger the relationship. Retaining customers who know and value you is the priority before trying to convince someone new to buy from you. Please don't take your existing customers for granted. Keep communicating with them, particularly if you have staff or cost issues which may impact what you do for them.

Just today, I have had three new business leads referred from existing long-term contacts that I hadn't directly heard from in years but whom I regularly contact with useful information.

If you need help with change and innovation, we can help, and I am always happy to have a free chat.

Share This Page: