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    5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2011 2:48 PM by JackieGold

    How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business

    JackieGold Scout

      Just wrote a blog article that you can view here about dealing with rising costs at your small business.

       

      Here's the gist:

       

      1) think about the exchange rate when introducing your product to your customers - could you stand to gain a new customer base by introducing your product abroad? You might find that you are able to tap into a new market as the dollar loses its value and American products become more desirable abroad.

       

      2) introduce a cheaper version of your product to the market. This one is pretty self explanatory.

       

      3) inform your customers that credit card transactions are becoming more costly for you.

       

      4) make your price increases small and more frequent (if necessary) instead of doing it all in one fell swoop.

       

      Read the article and let me know what you think. Does anyone have any other ideas?

        • Re: How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business
          balvis2011 Newbie

          1. Think about the exchange rate

           

          Even in the event that your products aren't doing as well at home in the actual U.S. – the weakening of the actual U.S. dollar can make U.S.-made items more appealing abroad. Think about what's sought after in additional nations and attempt marketing your product to those different customer bases. It could be also the situation that your products encounters less competition abroad due to its unique status being an exported good.

           

          two. Make less expensive versions associated with your product

           

          Even in case your current customers connect your business with getting more top end, expensive products, in this economy, that's not to grumble about spending less money. Introducing a different version of your product for a lower price could be the very move that saves your business during tough times. Best associated with all, the more affordable products may nevertheless carry your business' name, that could even draw in a whole new customer base to your product. Ensuring you have items readily available for a reduce cost means that the most loyal clients won't need to look somewhere else if they too tend to be cutting costs.

           

          3. Tell customers regarding your increasing credit card costs

           

          Numerous customers don't believe twice before pulling out the plastic. But for you as a business owner, each and every credit card transaction could be priced at you the hefty amount, especially as credit greeting card companies are charging much more for each credit greeting card transaction. One strategy you can implement is actually becoming open as well as honest with your client. According for an article within the Wall Road Journal, the coffee store in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, called Ula Coffee shop, has been doing just this particular: they submitted a indication that states "Please reserve use of the charge cards to pay for purchases of $10 or much more." Though it might be blunt, it will help the customer keep in mind that you are doing your best to chop costs as well.

           

          4. Put into action little price increases

           

          Don't wait until the last minute. Whether it's necessary to increase the prices of your product, this is simpler for the client for this to happen in little doses instead of one fell swoop. Many customers won't even notice if you are implementing little, across the board price increases. You will discover that your visitors are much more prepared than you believe to take little price raises, especially the ones that have been loyal to your business for a while.

          • Re: How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business
            Ranger

            Jackie, I  enjoy reading what you post. It's always good to look beyond what we know. Thank you. Keep it up! I notice that you always get great replies too.

             

            Has anyone gone ahead and what balvis suggests? Do you remind customers the cost to your business of credit card usage?

             

            The one place I can think of off the top of my head where I've seen the " please reserve the use of charge cards to pay for purchases of $10 or more" was our local greenhouse. They  encouraged us to take the time to write out a check rather than use plastic.

             

            Joleen

              • Re: How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business
                JackieGold Scout

                Thank you!

                 

                What balvis suggests was just my article pasted into a post

                  • Re: How to Deal with Rising Costs at Your Small Business
                    amspcs Ranger

                    Hello Jackie.  Your post was very well written and very well intended.  But I'm not sure we're seeing eye-to-eye with the concept of trying to influence the means by which  your customers pay you by discouraging credit card use.  

                    I have been in the payment processing business for many years and I'm sure there are those who will dismiss my views as biased.   To those, let me point out that the other edge of that sword is:  By my having been in the industry for so long, I might just might know what I'm talking about to some small extent.

                     

                    First of all:  Basic rule #1 of business:  Never never NEVER hassle a customer in any way shape manner or form regarding how they pay  you or anything else.  Sending them out the door looking for an ATM to pay you with instead of a credit card, during which time many will encounter dozens of your competitiors and forget aboujt you completely, is the LAST thing you want to do.  Here's a much better idea:  When a customer walks in your business and declares that he/ahe has decided to patronize YOU instead of  your competition, and then proceeds to pull out his wallet containing his/her credit card, drop to your knees immediately and begin to chant loudly for all to hear "THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!"  Provide the goods or service in as friendly and hassle free way as you can, and take the form of payment offered regardless of form with a big smile on  your face. 

                     

                    Secondly:  Sharing your overhead costs and concerns about your costs of doing business is not the concern of     y our customers, so do not burden them with that information.  They are in your store to best fill THEIR needs, not yours.  Concentrate on what your valued customer needs, the customer does not care about what you need.

                     

                    Thirdly,  what do you think is going to happen to the business that suddendly reduces their Visa or MC or American Express volume?  Obviously, their rates and fees will increase.   So they'll end up paying as much expense, if not more, for the reduced volume as they did before for the greater volume. All the business will have accomplished is to successfully antagonize and drive away good business.  Why rob Peter to pay Paul? 

                     

                    Lastly, having spent years in small business consulting before focusing on the payment processing industry, I can tell you that, in the typical small business scenario, there are hundreds if not thousands of areas within management and operations in which management could reduce precious operating costs.  Ignoring the gold mine while wasting time focusing on the relatively small change of processing costs does not make sense.  Examples of potential big buck savings aeras  include:  Inventory management, shrinkage, insurance, tax and accounting stragety , portion control (for restaurants), security, proper overhead factoring and monitoring, etc. etc.  The businessperson who ignores these examples and instead focuses on pennies and nickles elsewhere truly is guilty of not seeing the forest through the trees. 

                     

                    Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinions and ideas.