Bristol, United Kingdom (PressExposure) March 26, 2009 -- SMEs that have enjoyed many successful years doing what they do best are now finding that they have to change and adapt in order to survive todayâs difficult market conditions, according to Andrew Gerrard, managing director of InTouch Marketing and expert contributor to the small business marketing website, Marketing Donut.
âIt's important to constantly assess the products and services you offer,â says Gerrard. âSMEs need to be thinking about customer needs and wants and ensuring that the services offered are in line with that.â
This is something every business should be doing in good times as well as bad, he adds. âWhen times are good it is too easy to become complacent and not invest in continual improvement. A culture of constantly searching for new ideas and ways to deliver a competitive advantage should not be reserved for a recession.â
Nevertheless, it seems necessity is the mother of invention and many firms are finding new ways to keep business coming in as the recession bites. In the city of London, for instance, the Hoxton Hotel has introduced day hire of its rooms with internet access, cheap phone calls and free drinks for a flat fee. Business people can book a room anytime between 10am and 4pm on weekdays and use it as a base for just Â£19.
Itâs the initiative of Sinclair Beecham, owner of The Hoxton and co-founder of Pret a Manger, who discovered that many customers were working in the hotel lobby between business meetings.
âItâs a sensible moveâ, says Gerrard. âOver the past 20 years, reception areas have become coffee shops and meeting points. This move has been customer-driven with customers voting with their feet and rejecting the high prices of meeting rooms during the day.â
Small firms can have the edge over bigger rivals when it comes to diversification. âIn a small organisation, one or two people can knock an idea round, decide to try it and just get on with it,â says Gerrard. âToo often there is a fear of making the wrong decision, when actually the wrong decision is prevaricating and thus making no decision.â
The best approach to diversification, adds Gerrard, is having a very clear understanding of who your target customers are. âYou need to constantly reappraise what it is you are offering and how it fits with current demands,â he says.
Further information: Become a Marketing Donut expert by visiting the blog http://marketingdonutblog.co.uk/contributors/ Find out how to join Marketing Donut here http://marketingdonutblog.co.uk/join/ Find out more about InTouch Marketing here, http://www.intouchmarketing.co.uk/ Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint
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