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Nine ways to beat the economic blues

Hafizah Osman | Oct. 23, 2012
Let’s face it, in the past few weeks economic indicators haven’t exactly been cheery. But it in't all doom and gloom. Channel experts and analysts came up with nine ways to get ahead despite all the rumblings.

2. Decide on the focus, formulate a roadmap

Channel Dynamics director, Cam Wayland, said businesses should re-evaluate their target customers, what the it is trying to achieve, and deciding what the business is not going to do.

"Focus can be a double-edged sword. You have to decide on the things you potentially will not do because you might be stretching yourself too far and not deliver on the areas," he said.

Thomas Duryea CEO, Andrew Thomas, suggested channel players should analyse their businesses and figure out where their resources can be directed.

"They have to then fit it into a long-term strategic roadmap. The channel has to guide its customers through where the offerings fit for the longer-term and reassure them that they are moving in the right direction," he said.

3. Get to the bottom of customer requirement and strengthen bonds with them

WhiteGold Solutions strategic advisor, Leigh Howard, said businesses rely more heavily on trusted relationships, especially during touch economic conditions. "It is six times harder to win a new customer as it is to keep an existing one," he said.

Wayland claimed channel businesses should also converse more with their customers and get to the bottom of their requirements instead of jumping straight into offering solutions.

"When they are with the customer, they need to have a business conversation rather than a product conversation, as well as confirm the solution to benefit or add value to the business."

4. Leverage vendors' marketing development funds (MDF)

Wayland said vendors often had unspent MDF, and partners should propose a marketing strategy that benefits both the partner and vendor.

"Partners must think that should the vendors fund it, do they get a return out of spending money with that particular reseller that is going to drive incremental business for that vendor," he said.

5. Move into the security space, or specialise in something niche

According to Peach, security is currently an enduring and robust space to be in. "Even in such an economic climate, the security needs of a customer do not go away. During the darkest days of the GFC, Express Data saw our security related sales increase by more than 30 per cent.

"Businesses still need to assure their boards that their IT operations are secure. Focusing on areas where needs do not change will serve resellers well," he said.

6. Embrace emerging or evolving technologies such as Big Data, the Cloud, mobility, video

Thomas said businesses need to take up new and emerging technologies which represent high growth opportunities and businesses need to invest in them early to reap the benefits.

"Businesses need to conduct deeper investigations into how these technologies benefit them. Most of them are already beginning to jump on the bandwagon. The request should be 'How do we use it, what benefit is it to me and how do I ready my business for it," he said.


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