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“12-Step Program” for the Multifamily Housing Industry

“12-Step Program” for the Multifamily Housing Industry

1. Streamline Business Practices.

This is an opportune time to review your business procedures for effectiveness. Consider areas that can be combined into one or structured differently to reduce costs. Think about sharing resources, like administrative or payroll work, with other team members to reduce overhead. The goal is to streamline operation, so you can still provide a quality product or service, yet realize a greater profit by reducing the expenses to produce it.

2. Work Smarter.

As a successful company, you know you have to work smart to maximize business potential. But are you using the latest advances in technology to their potential? Look at all areas of business operation where you can cut waste or work faster and better by investing in automation software, new equipment, or web based applications.

3. Customer Appreciation.

Remember that your customers are going through a tough time, too. In order to retain their business, implement measures to express your appreciation. This could be a one-time price reduction, a customer commitment card, or a different kind of referral incentive. Whatever the strategy may be, it should be something of value to the customer and within your marketing budget.

4. Evaluate Marketing Tactics.

If you are conducting marketing activities that cannot be measured for effectiveness, then it’s time to evaluate your approach. It is essential, regardless of the business, to conduct marketing efforts that show measured results. For example, if you run an ad in a newspaper without a coupon, then there’s no way to determine its effectiveness in growing your business. It’s important to know what is and isn’t working for your business.

5. Get The Most From The Web.

The Internet offers a multitude of opportunities. There are free services that can help you streamline administrative functions, enhance selling strategies and expand marketing efforts. For starters, ask yourself if your company website is making the most of email marketing, keywords, search engine optimization and other online marketing efforts. Attracting online renters/customers goes well beyond a company website.

6. Position Yourself As An Expert.

Our local media is doing a lot of stories on how businesses and people are surviving these tough economic times. Here’s your opportunity to be a resource for their story or article by providing a quote and getting free exposure for your company at the same time. Keep your message positive and portray the spirit of optimism! Use the Internet to get national recognition from email publishers of blogs and business publications. You can also become a speaker in your area of expertise at seminars, conferences, or conventions in exchange for advertisement in the event booklet.

7. Get Involved.

When business slows, it’s time to let everyone know that you’re still around with a valuable product or service. The most effective business comes from word of mouth. So become more involved in community functions, events or organization. You should also tap into any trade organizations, such as the Arizona Multihousing Association, your local chamber of commerce, local business forums, and local charity organizations.

8. Focus on the Core.

If you’ve branched out into different areas over the years to improve market reach, it might be time to regroup and focus on the core of your business and outsource the rest. Evaluate what is and isn’t working and put more efforts into what started you out as a successful business in the first place. It’s important to get in touch with your core business and make sure it continues to meet the changing needs of customers.

9. Change Pricing Strategies.

Depending on the financial outlook for your business, you might need to consider revising your pricing strategies in order to thrive long-term in an unfavorable economy.

10. Develop Staffing Strategies.

No one wants to layoff people during a rough economy, but there are other options that might better suit your business operations. Consider reducing hours, shortening the workweek, or job sharing. You might also want to introduce incentive strategies that award employees for generating business or reducing expenses.

11. Tap Into New Marketing Opportunities.

Many great ideas have come out of adversity. For example, a joint marketing campaign with another entrepreneur that offers a product or service that complements yours without competing with it is one proven way to grow a business. Another affordable marketing effort is a text messaging campaign. Utilize all forms of media when brainstorming ideas.

12. Enhance Sales, Distribution and Customer Service.

Focus your support on the areas of your business that bring in customers and retain them. Develop cross selling ideas to help your sales force, implement measures to ensure customer service goes above and beyond customer expectations, and enhance your distribution methods so that your product or service is delivered as promised. Create ways that make it easier for everyone to do business with you.

The world has faced tough economic times before and many a company has survived and even thrived during them. The successful ones are those that are led by someone who understands the value of their business and is proactive in meeting a challenge head on with a positive and motivating attitude.  So, stop digging and start climbing with this easy “12-Step Program.”

Terri L. Euchner

Euchner Performance Enterprises

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