Brace your business for the bumpy road

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Banks failing, gas prices rising, and the credit crunch pinching — no wonder business people are nervous.  These are scary times.

But they don’t have to be disastrous times.  We’ve weathered recessions (even though we are apparently not in one) before and we will weather this one too.

There’s been some very smart writing on the topic, from a marketing perspective and I wanted to point you to a couple excellent posts.

John Rosen at Stopwatch Marketing (have you read his book?) tells us how to thrive in a slowdown.

John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing (have you read his book?) gives us 7 time-tested ways to dig out from a recession.

Hang in there…this is the time to invest in the relationships you have with current customers, stay visible in the marketplace (especially if your competitors are cutting back), build and protect your brand and overall, think long-term in your strategies.

The businesses that keep focused and recognizes that this a just a bump in the road (albeit a good sized bump) will be in stride to really take off once we’re on better ground. 

Better times are around the corner, we just need to keep keeping on to get there.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Drew

    Coincidently (if that does exist) I listened yesterday to an interview between Ed Rivis and Jonathan Jay (have you read his book? he’s given it away at the moment:
    link to freemarketingbook.org

    JJ states – and I agree with him – that during bumpy times good companies will become better, becomes they want to and bad companies will fall by the leeway – because they already work on the tiniest of margins and will have to cut-corners even more.
    Prospects and clients are looking for reliable businesses especially in bumpy times.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. says

    Drew:

    Thanks for the plug on my blog posting…and the book!

    Recessions are, as our discussion thread emphasizes, periods of both fear and opportunity. Being old enough to have been through a few of them, I still find it terribly frustrating to have to work so hard to convince my clients of that basic premise: “If you (Mr./Ms. Client) have the intestinal fortitude to ramp UP marketing efforts while your competitors are ramping down, you can take market share…permanently.”

    Otherwise, how are things in Iowa? I was in Chicago earlier this week and it looked like lots of flooding!

    I managed to make it to dinner with CK and Arun during his visit to NY. We toasted you! There’s a good picture on David REich’s my2cents blog: link to reichcomm.typepad.com

    John

  3. says

    As costs need to be cut or expenses need to be decreased, the place to trade will be the Internet. The Internet will become more important in business life.
    As an example of costs:
    An financial transaction at a bank:
    At the counter: $10 to $15
    Using the ATM: $1 to $2
    Online transaction: $.10 to $.15
    Not only financial institutions will increase the use of online, but all businesses will.
    Not solely fro transactions or communications, but also for lead generation and nurturing customers.
    Why exhibit at a trade show, when interested parties have already visited your website.
    You need to reach your customers early in their buying cycle.

  4. says

    Karen,

    So true. It’s easy to be successful when money is freely flowing and all the consumers are feeling free and easy.

    The true test is how do we survive long-term, through both good and tough times. And the tough times are the ideal time to show off our stuff — because it’s even more noticeable and noteworthy.

    Drew

  5. says

    John,

    You would think it would be intuitive — just like you buy stock when it’s undervalued, knowing it will pay off big when it goes back on the rise?

    And actually, it’s a better bet than the stock analogy. Assuming they are on message — it’s a given the value is greater.

    Iowa is good. The flood damage was so extensive, it will take years for them to fix or rebuild everything. Lots of lives changed forever.

    It looks like you guys had a great time with Arun. I would have loved to have shared the evening with you all!

    Drew

  6. says

    ET,

    Agreed — the internet is a powerful and cost effective marketing tool, especially when the road gets bumpy. Even if you cannot transact business over the web — it is a place to build awareness, community and connections.

    Drew

  7. says

    Sage advice Drew.
    No one knows how deep or wide this economic downturn will be. Many of us have pleaded with small businesses to live by the boyscout mott, “Be Prepared”. Hopefully many have listened.

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