by John Eberhard
Labor Day is now past, marking the official end of the summer season (even though we will still have some hot weather in Los Angeles and in some other parts of the country).
I have observed in past years that many business owners put their attention on other things over the summer – like vacations, fun, etc. Then right after Labor Day, their attention will sort of snap back to their business, and to marketing (including website marketing) and driving in new customers.
This is a good and necessary thing. Not that I’m opposed to vacations and having fun, just having got back from a few days at Big Bear Lake with my family. But as the old song says, there is a season for everything. And now that we’re in September, we are now in the season for getting back to business, school starting and so on.
I would say that this year, it is even more important than usual to get your marketing in gear and ramp up the promotion of your business. The so-called “summer of recovery” never really happened, and economic figures and indicators are not strong.
It is easy to get into the mindset of saying “Unemployment is at almost 10%. Nobody has any money to buy what I am selling.”
I believe that it is entirely possible to promote and drive in new business during the current economic climate. I think it is definitely harder if you sell a high priced luxury item. But if you sell a product or service that people definitely need, you can do it. You may have to change your approach, such as offering a discount or offering some free item along with the sale (an item that is inexpensive in relation to the cost of the sale). Changing your offer is probably a very good thing to do at the present time, especially if responses have been downtrending for a while.
I have stated in the past and I will say it again that it is even more important to continue promoting your business during an economic downturn than it is during good times. There are two reasons for this. One is that when sales or income are down, you should promote to get them back up again. The other reason is that if you continue promoting during lean times, and your competition cuts back, you will take marketshare away from them. And when the recovery arrives, you will be stronger than ever and your competition will be weaker.
And here is a third reason. You can respond to the economic climate by agreeing with it or disagreeing with it. Agreeing with the economy puts you in a frame of mind where you are at effect of whatever happens. Disagreeing puts you in a frame of mind where you can be cause, you can do something about it.
This is not to say that you sit there with your head in the sand and say “There is no recession. Don’t want to hear it. Everything’s fine. Just want to hear good news.” That’s not what I mean.
What I mean is that you should disagree with the recession, by deciding that you are going to find a way to promote your business that will work well during the current climate, and thereby get in new business and flourish despite the economy. This may mean trying a new offer, a new message, a new promotional medium, or even promoting to a new public. And by all means it is time to get your marketing in gear, and don’t stop promoting.