(It's NOT impossible!)
The starting point in approaching a difficult market (think "a difficult time to be trying to sell a new perfume") is to understand that there ARE NO simple answers or guides. NOBODY really has the answers. But there are some "tricks" that can greatly improve your chances of success. Here are some thoughts to help you.
First and most important of all, you have to understand this great truth. Yes, it is a TRUTH. It is NOT impossible to make profitable sales, even when it appears that all the odds are against you.
Always keep this truth in mind. Forget it and you are doomed.
Next -- and this is a truth too -- it is better to do SOMETHING than to do nothing. If you wait for "times to get better", you and your wonderful perfume will be forgotten, forever. In other words, don't just sit on your duff. Get up and get to work, even if you think you're just going down a dead end. ACTIVITY on your part stimulates activity on the part of the consumer. Lack of activity on your part will doom you.
RETHINKING your perfume and your business is essential. IF things are slow, rather than sitting around complaining and getting yourself all depressed, use some of this "spare time" (quality time?) to think about your business -- where you've come from, where you are now, and how you can use an analysis of your business to better prepare for the future.
Yes, it's hard to think "forward" when things are getting really slow but it's essential for your future success AND for your current survival, both physical and mental!
Cycles reverse. Two points are certain. First, that the BUSINESS cycle will get better and second that, when it does, your position in the market will be different than it is today. If you keep your head and don't panic, if you keep pressing forward with activity and new ideas (ideas don't always cost money ... some can save money!), if you can clean up the garbage in your business so that it LOOKS better and better to consumers (whether, right now, they are buying or not!), when this cycle reverses you will be AHEAD of those who sat around and did nothing -- those who thought that spending a few dollars to develop their new perfumes and new ideas was "too risky" -- you will find yourself AHEAD of these (now former) competitors.
Yes, this is your chance to overtake your competitors and build your following, even while sales may be painfully slow. If you can maintain a higher level of activity -- greater, more exciting communications with your market -- you can be the one to emerge in a strong position.
Finally REMEMBER that SOME people have money to spend and MOST people can still afford to buy the things they really want. IF, somehow, you can make YOUR perfume the one thing that a handful of special people MUST HAVE, you will make profitable sales.
So really, what it all comes down to is finding ways to make the PURCHASE of YOUR perfume irresistible to your customers. That's a goal that will keep your body busy and your mind active. Find out what they REALLY want from your fragrance ... and your business ... and offer it to them! Your cash register will, once again, begin to sing.