A recent article in the Calgary Herald outlined some of the frustrations and challenges affecting business owners in the city’s various destination districts.  According to the article, destination districts in Calgary have increasing vacancy rates.  The article surmises that business closures are the result of a variety of factors including a weak Canadian dollar, the state of the local economy, increased labour costs, and significant increases in business taxes.  As businesses close their doors, others remain open and are even growing.  Here is what helps them to thrive during difficult times.

Managing expenses

This might sound obvious but many business owners overlook this important financial chore.  Managing involves more than saving on office supplies.  Business owners can save a significant amount of money by doing things like negotiating better lease terms, streamlining processes, and improving overall operational efficiency.  These efforts take time and sometimes require an outside expert but can make a real difference to the bottom line.

Maximizing current and potential markets

Business owners can create some insulation from boom and bust cycles by having a good understanding of how to serve their current market and how to tap into additional markets.  Strategies like increasing market share, getting into new markets, and diversifying offerings can help a business to grow even during difficult times.  These strategies are available to all businesses, regardless of industry or niche.

Responding to changing market conditions

Many business owners understand when changes are occurring that affect their market but do not alter their business model or offerings in response to it.  Adapting to market conditions can help keep a business moving forward when others are stagnating.  Responding to changing market conditions can include things like changing product or service offerings, moving the business to a different location where the ideal customer will be more likely to continue visiting, or expanding online offerings.

Continuous marketing

Businesses should have a solid and consistent marketing strategy in place to ensure that new customers can find them and previous customers don’t forget about them.  Marketing should include more than just social media posts.  Doing things like networking with other businesses, offering promotions, and keeping in contact with customers can be highly effective and financially rewarding.

No one ever said that running a business would be easy.  Even in challenging economic times, it can be done successfully.  Business owners don’t have to do it alone.  Working with a professional, like a Certified Business Intermediary, can be a great way to identify strategies for improvement and provide a blueprint for execution.  Contact us today to learn more about services that will help you grow your business.