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Business Survival 101

What steps to take to prevent being a victim of changing market conditions

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, about two-thirds of startup businesses survive at least two years and about 50% make it to the five-year mark. After 10 years the survival rate drops to about 35%.

Even if successful at starting a small business, economic and market conditions and changes in trends can cause a temporary downturn and put a business in a precarious position. What’s a small company to do when its profitability is on the ropes?

According to the website Business Know-How, there are steps an entrepreneur can take when market conditions go south. Here are two methods to recharge your presence.

Rebrand your company: Take honest stock of your company’s strengths and weaknesses. What caused the loss of business? Have trends changed? How can you be competitive again by rebranding?

Don’t guess at what customers want and will pay for. Analyze your existing sales and talk to actual customers and prospects. Conduct an online survey to find out which of your products or services are most valued and will bring the greatest profit. 

Another way to gauge your impact on customers is to conduct a focus group. Not only will a focus group tell you what you might be missing, it can also let you know why they are turning to a competitor.

Get social:Are you on all of the social media platforms that your customers use? Social media has become an important tool for all types of industries. The Pew Internet Social Media statistics for 2018 put an exclamation mark on the use of social media.

Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape, as a majority of adults in the United States use each of these sites. At the same time, younger Americans are noted for embracing a variety of platforms and using them frequently. 

About 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and a sizeable majority of those users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day. Similarly, 71% of Americans in this age group now use Instagram and close to half (45%) are Twitter users.

Breaking that down even further, 68% of adults are Facebook users, with a majority of those reporting they access the site on a daily basis. The video-sharing website YouTube, although not a traditional social media platform, is used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds. 

Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

But the social media story extends well beyond Facebook. The video-sharing site YouTube – which contains many social elements, even if it is not a traditional social media platform – is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds. And the typical (median) American reports that they use three of the eight major platforms that the Center measured in this survey.

Regularly posting on social media platforms can give your business a boost, but don’t overdo it. Y

It also may be time to look at your current advertising and add in marketing techniques like email blasts, pop-up marketing and guerilla marketing will make you stand out from your competition.

Both of these solutions, from rebranding to short and snappy videos to marketing techniques have been refined by M3 Group. We work on SWOT reports for our clients, analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

You don’t have the know-how or the time for social media? M3 Group can create effective social media posts and set up a social media schedule, posting at optimal intervals to keep your company in the minds of consumers. 

M3 Group has had success in conducting online surveys, man-on-the-street evaluations and assembling focus groups to better learn what your customers want.

Those are just a few of M3 Group’s proven specialties. Call us at (517) 203-333 to discuss these services and more!