Building Better Business In The New Economy

how to build business economic recession lean startup new normal

Businesses are all facing another global economic recession after one of the most challenging years in a century. It was possibly one of the most difficult years in all of humanity in terms of worldwide impact and not just isolated national or continental tragedies. 

How can your startup or small business stay afloat? Will your company just barely survive, or thrive? What adjustments, adaptations, and pivots will your startup need to execute to stay profitable or grow?

We're here to help you fend off financial woes and build back better in the new normal of an economic recession with worldwide competition.

The economic landscape is treacherous for lean startups and small businesses in 2021. Read on to learn how to build a bigger and better business on a budget in the new economy.  

Influencer Marketing Makes An Impact

It helps your business to build back better when you can get eyeballs on your products or services. Social media is a smart way to do so on a lean budget. When it comes to social media marketing and online advertising, influencers are a powerful tool to utilize. Are you tired of influencer marketing yet in our new economy? I have bad news for you: it’s about to become much more important. First, let’s define what we mean by influencer marketing so we’re working from the same definition. Let’s first define influencer marketing as a kind of word of mouth marketing where a persuasive entity - usually a person (although now there are virtual and AI influencers or even animal influencers) - that encourages awareness, consideration, or purchase actions from their audience. 

In the influencer marketing context most marketers operate in, those awareness, consideration, or purchase actions are usually on behalf of another company’s products or services. Influencer marketing is nothing new; celebrity marketing pre-dates it by decades, and word of mouth pre-dates it by millennia, for as long as humans have had conversation and commerce capabilities. What’s newer about influence marketing are the ease and scale that individual people have. More people than ever constitute influencers in some capacity, and more people than ever have reach and scale. For example, our website and blog reach about 250,000 readers worldwide, about the same as a major newspaper or magazine. In decades past, that would have required massive outlays of capital and infrastructure. Ease and scale are available to many more people today, and that's why influencer marketing has exploded. So, why is influencer marketing about to be more important? 

Because of the coming restrictions in advertising technology. Highly-targeted digital advertising is on the rocks as tracking changes will make life difficult for all but the biggest ad tech companies. In turn, that will drive prices for advertising up on the big ad networks like Google and Facebook; for some companies, it could price them out of the market. Influencer marketing stands to benefit; audiences tend to be well-defined around an influencer’s area of expertise, and those audiences are behavior-based, not demographic-based: 

Influencer Examples

If you want to talk writing, Ann Handley’s audience is for you. If you want to talk tech strategy, Crystal Washington’s audience is for you. If you want to talk reinventing education, Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang’s audience is for you. If you want to talk self-improvement, Laura Gassner Otting’s audience is for you. The power of an influencer’s audience is that it isn’t limited by demographics. I’ve set up web analytics for several of the folks above, and I can tell you without breaking any confidential information that they all attract people of every background, every identity, united by interest, not demographic segment. 

Why Use Influencer Marketing Now

As smaller ad networks get squeezed by the upcoming restrictions in cookie eliminations, increased privacy in browsers, ad blockers, and larger networks get more expensive, influencer marketing - properly done, with good analytics - will be an advantageous alternative. There’s still much that needs to improve in influencer marketing - identifying influencers right now is practically a guessing game (which is why Rand Fishkin started Sparktoro) and social media marketing analytics are often inaccurate - but as money moves around into the space even more, those things will start to improve and organize. 

So, the key takeaway is to ask what your plan is for influencer marketing over the next 12-18 months. Are you going to grow your own, helping employees become influential in your space? Are you going to reach out, finding people to partner with? Are you going to engage an agency on your behalf? Whatever you choose, be sure you have a plan in place for when you need it, and get started on that plan sooner rather than later to grow your business in the new economy.

Confidence And Communication Raises Capital

If you are launching a business or need additional funding, you will need to raise capital. Audience increases and asset management is key. You can increase your likelihood of raising capital by communicating to a large audience and subsequently tracking those that are paying attention. It is simple math, the more people engaged in your story, the more chance you have of raising money. So be confident and communicate your funding needs strategically to ensure you an raise the investment capital needed for your business!

Leadership Leverage 

Growth is not only a sign of an organization’s success in business; it’s also the key to its long-term survival. A company needs to grow to be competitive and stay relevant. If a CEO or business owner is not growing, they giving away the lion’s market share to their competition. In any industry where quality matters, there are a series of objective quality tests that a product has to pass before it’s released. But somehow, CEOs and managers in B2B marketing content for lead generation and SEO seems to have evaded the draft. Maybe there’s a belief that creative work is exempt from objective judgement, but true leaders listen to objective criticism and suggestions.

Pitch Perfectly With Poise 

It doesn't matter if you're pitching to coworkers, investors, or prospects: you need to pitch perfectly if possible. There are many strategies to utilize when it comes to using your pitch deck more effectively for presentations. As my colleagues always say, that there’s a reason you don’t see paragraphs on freeway signs. It’s just too much information for anyone to read and retain when they’re driving by at high speeds. Keep that in mind when pitching perfectly to potential coworkers, clients, and investors. Make sure your pitch presentation is short and sweet while knowing your numbers. Respect the time your audience is taking out of their schedule to listen to your pitch. 

Sell Smarter With A USP

Branding statement. Unique selling proposition. Value statement. Elevator pitch. We’re all familiar with these concepts, and they’re all pretty much after the same thing: a way to uniquely describe what we do to prospects, customers, and even competitors. 

We’ve had this concept of the elevator pitch beaten into us since the very beginning of our marketing education. So why are we so incredibly bad at it? For example, this week, someone sent me the value proposition for a piece of SaaS software that was lackluster in its description of why the product was better than a competitor program. I went to a competing community and asked what made their product of choice better and didn’t get much of an improvement. Why? Part of the reason is that there are truly very few things that are unique in a comprehensible way. 

There are only so many safe, scalable ways to prepare a hamburger, for example; while El Diablo’s restaurant on top of a volcano is certainly a unique way to cook a hamburger, “volcano-cooked” is tough to scale. For the rest of the world, grilling, frying, and broiling are about it for cooking methods. So how can we achieve some level of uniqueness that can be more easily describe? After all, “our people are the difference” is so generic and overused, it’s meaningless. 

There are a few different exercises that consultants typically do (and charge you reassuringly expensive prices to do so), but I’ve found two that really work well for me. Here is an exercise I learned from a sales expert back when I worked at an agency. Simply put, what about your product is first, best, or the only one of its kind? What are you first at in business? What are you the best at with your company? What can someone only get from you or your startup biz? 

This is a clarifying exercise because a ton of companies talk about things like “amazing customer service” as if they were the only ones who had such a feature, but the reality is otherwise. What are you truly first, best, only at? For example, we built an attribution modeling tool using Markov chains (a machine learning technique). There are plenty of pieces of software out there that do that, but to my knowledge, none exist that plug straight into your Google Analytics to create this particular kind of machine learning model. That’s an “only” example. The white label test. This is an exercise I learned from from my agency days. Your uniqueness shouldn’t be tied to your brand; in fact, someone should be able to discern your brand even if you scraped off the label. Put a cup of Coke next to a cup of Pepsi, neither labeled. Can you tell the difference? Put a Macbook next to a Chromebook, brands obscured. Can you tell the difference? Put a Tesla next to a Prius, logos covered up. Can you tell the difference? Unless you are an expert in these particular niches, chances are you can't tell the difference or enough of a difference to make you shell out the extra money.

Too many companies completely fail the white label test when it comes to selling propositions. Take this statement: “Our industry leading customer service and dedication to innovation help us stand above our competitors.” What company is this? What industry is this, even? This “unique” selling proposition is anything but. When people ask me what I do at Trust Insights, I say that we’re data detectives. Got a data mystery, we’ll help you solve it. While that might conjure up mental images of crime solvers and detectives, the reality is almost no one else says that. 

On the other hand, if we went the traditional management consulting route and said something like “We combine data and people to develop synergies and drive customer value”, we could literally be any company in any industry. Take those two tests - first, best, only and the white label test - to see how unique your unique selling proposition is. If you find that you struggle with it, the tests become tools to develop something really unique about your business and brand.

Take Advantage Of Amazon 

Amazon is everything these days for retailers and ecommerce businesses. Having a presence as an Amazon seller enables you to increase sales and leverage your status. However, by your lack of a meaningful presence on Amazon, you are simply leaving money on the table by not selling on the biggest marketplace in the world while your competitors do! You may be satisfied with the revenue you have now but trust me when I say it could be a lot more. is by far the biggest online retailer in the world - and it's still growing! 

Master Marketing Materials 

This site is filled with free customizable and easy to implement marketing materials for multi-level marketing companies and traditional marketers. Take the pressure off yourself and by using this complimentary marketing content to help you stay top of mind with your leads and customers. 

Digital marketing is especially important in the modern economy. A digital presence is crucial for businesses. No company, big or small, can afford to lose visibility for their potential customers world of digital advertising has long been dominated by Google and Facebook. Both platforms possess huge arrays of valuable data about their users, so make sure to leverage that information to market and sell smarter as a network marketer or other business owner. 

As the pandemic pushed consumers to spend more time online, social media has become an important part of the connection between brands and their customers. Still, consumers feel more disconnected from companies than they did two years ago. And the majority of social media users don’t think brands share interesting content. What are we as brand marketers missing in our social media strategy?

About 80% of B2B customers prefer digital purchasing to in-person sales, especially after the pandemic. A lot has taken place and brought about significant deviations in the B2B sector; the coronavirus has spelt out a set of guidelines that make up the new normal in this economy. The pandemic has battered the downward-spiralling economy although the worst may be over now. Will 2021 augur a better start for business-to-business (B2B) companies? Economists and expert columnists argue on the growth prospects for the India story with contradictory data between them and the government. A significant number of small and medium enterprises have lost a fortune in the midst of it all and with the GST hassles still at large, what promises 2021 hold out? Will B2B marketing change with the changing economic and public health policies? How an B2B businesses build back better in a new economy?

Today's trend-setting marketers focus on one consistent metric: granular ROI. What does that mean? Modern marketing technology stacks have obliterated the age-old question, "What is my overarching marketing return?" and replaced it with "What is the exact recipe of tactics I need at a given time for my marketing"? They say “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” but before you tuck into your morning meal, consider what’s on the CMO’s plate in 2021. In light of the severe (and ongoing) disruption companies have experienced in the past year, the CMO’s strategic imperative has never been greater. So look before you eat, because CMOs face a full course of challenges as they seek to return their organizations to growth in 2021 (or extend their 2020 growth path).

Find The Perfect Partner With Pickup Power Plays 

This is a very often overlooked area of business success! You know what they say, there is a great woman behind every great man (or vice versa, or men, or women... you get the idea). It's a fact that business professionals have a longer and more successful career when they are in a committed and long term relationship. But how do you find the perfect partner for your personal and professional empire? The same way you market towards your customers. If you put out confidence, dedication, and positivity you will attract the right partner in business and in your personal life to help increase your chances of success. 

Build A Better Business In The Modern Marketplace 

The global business landscape is only getting more competitive each year. Kick the competition to the curb with these simple tips to build a bigger and better business on a budget and in any economy.

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