My Father once said “that when business is down even as much as 50% there is still 50% of the business being done, you just need to be a bigger share of what is left.”
There is no question that this is a precarious time; the economy is in flux and the design business is changing. But despite these adversities, now is the time to take action to better business both for the future as well as the present. Now is the time for outreach and marketing.
As President of the New York Design Center, I am fortunate to be part of a company with a rich history of over 80 years of experience in the design industry. The NYDC has survived through many difficult times by always trying to take advantage of our financial stability and market savvy. It is here that advertising, industry outreach, events and new programs have all been helpful in making sure we increased our share of business while remaining the preeminent resource for fine furnishing in the industry.
My experience is in sales, marketing and finance as well as running a design center, and this philosophy holds true for all aspects of the design industry. Whether you are a manufacturer, a showroom or a designer, take advantage of this time to gain exposure. Are you reaching all of the clients you would like to? Are you sending out the right message? Evaluate your efforts and see if you are doing everything possible to increase business in these trying times. Sometimes this means looking into new avenues of marketing, trying things you might not have done before.
Luckily, as technology becomes more advanced and accessible there are plenty of cost effective outlets to market your products. One of the most interesting, relevant and accessible venues is the internet, a virtual world. The addition of social networking (via websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter) is a terrific way to reach potential clients while remaining current in today’s industry. Understand and leverage these new tools to your advantage. In time, business will improve and you will find yourself ahead of the curve
Jim is the President and C.E.O. of the New York Design Center, the oldest building in the United States devoted to furniture and design as well as related products. NYDC is located at 200 Lexington Ave, New York, New York.