It has been said in the past that the ongoing ups and downs of the economic conditions in today’s world are much like riding a roller coaster. When things go down, things get a little tighter and when things go up, there is a fair deal of excitement. One thing that is for sure with the uncertainty of the economy is that people tend to get budget-conscious whenever there is a hint of an economic downturn. This results in changes in spending that impacts many businesses.
One type of business that typically remains mostly unaffected by poor economic conditions is the home-based business. For example, if you are considering launching a home watch business, you are going to learn some interesting facts about economic conditions. A small home-based business that is owner operated can weather huge storms in the economy. Partly because a small, one-person home-based business is already bare-bones, to begin with. There isn’t a lot that could be cut back if the economy dictated it. However, larger businesses have more overhead, staffing, and commitments. When the economy gets soft, big business usually chops away at the excesses to stay in business. This can affect service, employment and more.
With your small home-based house watch business you won’t have much to worry about in that regard. But what about your customer base, won’t a slow economy cause issues with your ongoing revenue source? Slow economies don’t normally have much of an effect on seniors. That’s because they are often already living on a fixed income. Those who receive pensions or benefits will still be receiving these items even in a slow economy. In a way, you could consider your home watch service as a recession-proof business.
In the United States alone there are over 50-million seniors. In the next two decades, census experts expect that figure to grow to 80 million seniors. What this means is that with such a high percentage of seniors in our country, services like a home watch business will continue to thrive even if the economy isn’t. Think about that for a moment. With an aging population that will continue to grow for the next 20 years, there will be no shortage of potential customers.
Plus, the economy won’t have much of an effect on your earnings either.
So let’s break this down a little more for you. We’ve determined that the economy is not going to hurt your business. We’ve even called it a recession-proof business. We have also determined that the one demographic that you may see most of your customers coming from is constantly growing. Also, these seniors are in a place in their lives where they are collecting pensions or benefits of some kind which will not change if the economy takes a sudden dive.
By setting your home watch business up to focus on “senior snowbirds” who are away from either their primary or second home, you can do quite well. For example, let’s say you have determined that your new business venture is something you will operate on a part-time basis. This means you will work at it no more than 20 hours per week. Let’s say that your hourly rate is $50. That will generate $1,000 a week for you in a soft economy. Try to beat that with a business that can’t be called recession-proof.
Do you see what I mean when I say a home watch business is recession-proof?
Another thing to remember when you own and operate a home watch business is that you are the boss. If for some reason your customer base dwindles, you can’t lay anyone off but you can easily take some time off yourself to relax. You won’t be cutting your services or reducing staff as big business would do in bad economic conditions. In other words, you would just maintain whatever business you have and weather the storm.
Since seniors are typically unaffected by downturns in the economy, you can respond to that situation by putting your marketing efforts into a greater focus on the senior population. If you spend time learning about the demographics of your core customer base, you will be able to take that data and turn it into effective marketing programs. It may even expose your home watch business to some seniors in your target demographic who may not have already been aware of your service.
When the economy is down, it also helps to put a little more effort into your customer service as well. The more you do for your customers that shows you appreciate their support when spending may be down for others shows that you do care for their support. Plus, when you do this you may receive a bonus that the economy can’t touch whatsoever. You can earn additional business from referrals that come from those happy customers you treated so well.
It is something called customer service and it is one more thing that I think will set your business apart from all others – especially during a recession. To start with, you will not be stressed out about how you are going to cover your costs and pay your staff. That’s because your costs are minimal and you have no staff. Without this kind of stress gnawing away in the back of your mind, you will be able to focus on the main thing that will keep your business growing- your customers. Treating them as you would like to be treated will go a very long way.
One more tip for you:
Don’t let what you read in the paper or see on TV sway you from what you have been doing. It may be tempting to slash your rates to attract those customers who are nervous about the economic conditions but you end up doing one thing when you succumb to that. You end up devaluing your business and after a while, at discounted or slashed rates you will find it difficult putting those rates back to where they were before you decided to make the cuts. Don’t cheapen what you are doing.
Remember, your home watch business is recession-proof and by slashing your rates you give off the wrong signal. Stay true to your business principles and don’t let the conditions of your local economy drive your business. You are in the driver’s seat and should maintain control of your home watch business at all times.
Small businesses can bounce around during economic downturns and home-based businesses are the most successful at this. Your home watch business is virtually recession-proof as a result. Even if part of your customer base is affected by unfavorable economic conditions, you will still have many potential customers to choose from as the aging population continues to grow. By cleverly target marketing this demographic you will attract business which can grow thanks to referrals and remain untouched by a recession of any kind.