The current economic scene is not encouraging.
Many of you read that and thought “You’re not kidding!”
There’s a silver lining buried in this for many businesses. Warren Buffet is one of the wealthiest men in the world. For decades he has been an incredibly successful businessman.
His famous saying:
Let’s see… others fearful? Check.
Time to get greedy.
The first ingredient is courage. If you’ve got that, read on.
It seems we’ve just ended an Endless Summer – an eleven-year-long economic boom that saw the U.S. hit lowest ever unemployment rates, many new high stock market records and wage growth for every group in America. Consumer and business owner optimism has been sky-high.
Here in Tampa Bay we’ve been no stranger to that. An unemployment rate of 3.0% means anybody who wants a job, has one. Just try and hire a skilled employee!
Well that is all over, right? Economy crash and burn, zombie apocalypse!
Might be a slight exaggeration.
There is no question: people, including consumers and business owners, have suddenly gotten a lot more cautious about spending their money.
Maybe the whole thing will be back to normal in 8 weeks. Maybe we go into a prolonged recession. No one knows.
You are a business owner, what do you do?
For some businesses, there may be little you CAN do, if you are in the business of international travel, for example. For most businesses that is not the case.
So let’s just start with this idea: Something can be done about it.
This isn’t my first dance. I’ve been through the 2000 tech bust and the 2008 real estate crash.
I learned there are two ways to deal with such a situation.
To Market, Or Not To Market.
That IS The Question.
There are really only these two choices.
- Be Fearful. Hunker down, cut expenses any way you can, try and ride it out.
- Get Greedy. Market your way out of it.
Now which do you think is likelier to succeed?
Is doing nothing ever your best option?
Personally, I don’t think so. Taking action is more effective than crossing your fingers and hoping.
Observations from my previous two experiences with this type of situation:
I saw many small business owners choose option number one. Many of these businesses survived. Many did not. Those that survived often came out of it, smaller and less profitable.
Some businesses did very well, if they were in an industry positioned to take advantage of the situation. One client of ours, a jewelry store, was taking in Rolex watches and Ferraris for high interest collateral loans.
The ones that came out of the bust doing really well were the ones that marketed like mad. The greedy ones. Not all of these, far from, it, were in the right business at the right time. They just decided to make lemonade out of lemons, and they did it.
The truth is, even in a serious downturn, many people will get rich.
Even in a very bad economy, a large portion of your potential business is still out there. Let’s do a little math. Say you are capturing 1% of all the possible business in your area. Let’s say business crashes by half.
If you increased your market share from 1% to 2%, your business would remain level. If 4%, you would double the size of your business during a horrible economic downturn.
We practice what we preach. In the 2008 period we totally upped our marketing game. During that period we, shockingly, increased our prices twice. We did very well.
IF you can market effectively, you don’t have to just sit back and take whatever the economy is dishing out.
First you have to decide that’s the way you are going to approach the situation. Then you have to get effective marketing going.
I’ve badgered you repeatedly that effective marketing doesn’t fall out of trees.
It is hard work and it often takes persistence and a number of false starts to get it right.
It starts with knowing or finding out everything you can about what has been successful in marketing in the past, for you or even your competitors. If something worked before there’s a good chance it will work now.
Then stay up late coming up with new ideas that are going to make the world beat a path to your door.
You can do it.
It isn’t too soon to get started.