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Reacting to a Shift in Spending Patterns

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 3, 2009

Small business owners shouldn’t be quick to hit the panic button during economic slowdowns. Remember, business won’t immediately grind to a halt. For many small business owners, you’re more than likely to see a shift in spending patterns as your customers and clients reduce their spending but do not completely abstain from it. Customers who may have previously been willing to spend $1,000 for a given product may now be only willing to spend $300, and customers who may have spent $300 before may now be spending $100.

To deal with this, keep your staff aware of customer budget restrictions and have them ask clients and customers what they are looking for specifically and what sort of budget they may be limited to. Instead of completely reducing or eliminating services or products, you should also consider creating new services or introducing lower price-point products.

This is a moment in which you should be mindful of how your customers spend their dollars, especially if your business relies on local shoppers. After all, if you drastically cut down on products and services, news of reduced inventory and service can easily be spread by word of mouth.

Peter Pham
Redwood City, Calif.

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