Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
When we opened in 2004 as a boutique Web design agency, our operative word was "customize." While this arrangement was good for the client, a softening economy and competitive sales climate quickly exposed the limitations of our business model. In short, our custom approach was eating into our bottom line.
Late last year, we knew that something had to give. After much analysis, we identified what our clients needed most: first-rate solutions at an affordable price. So we turned our one-of-a-kind services into packages that could expand or contract according to a client’s goals. This allowed our clients to enjoy an economy of scale, and enabled our programmers to create modules that served multiple clients at once.
We also integrated open-source programs and third-party solutions to enhance our offerings, and added monthly retainer packages and regular maintenance options. This not only helped clients meet annual marketing goals, but ensured us steady monthly revenue.
The take-home message for other small businesses: By reassessing your strengths and weaknesses and shifting accordingly, you can innovate—and succeed—in trying times.