Understanding your market may be of the utmost importance in a time with high inflation. Dr. Richard Franza, dean of the Hull College of Business at Augusta University, said business owners should always be examining processes to make sure they are as cost-effective as possible.
But also, make sure to keep the customer in mind.
“You have to understand where your price fits in with all the other components of your products,” said Franza. “You mustn’t spend money on elements that are not important to your customer. Cut your costs in a way that doesn’t affect the customer experience.”
Being aware of everything when business is on an uptick is as important as when times aren’t the best.
“If you look at the processes when times are good, then you have a lot more flexibility with your margins. Understanding your market is important. Understand how you compete — is it through cost, quality, speed or customization? Understand where you’re better or worse than your competitors.”
When it comes to the service industry, businesses need to pay special attention to those dealing with the customers.
“Understand that while you have to run your backroom efficiently, you have to concentrate on your front room where you do interact with customers. Be focused on the experience of the customer. You may want to spend a little extra on the people you hire to interact with your customers; they’re your ‘face,’” added Franza.
While inflation may be affecting everyone and every business, it’s important to remember one thing.
“Be true to your brand. Your loyal customers are coming to you because of that.”