You would have to be living on Mars if you don’t know that we’re in the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes in America. If you find yourself worried about your business and what can happen next, you’re certainly not alone.
As I write this, the next few days bring great uncertainty about what the government is going to do to try and help bail out the failed banking system in the US. While it’s not clear what form the assistance will take, it appears almost certain that the US government will have to do something to fix the mess created in the financial system by rampant greed. What is going to happen? Who knows! What is obvious is that the vast majority of Americans are very unhappy with the situation and quite angry about spending billions of dollars to bail out an industry known for greed.
The unfortunate truth is, a bailout is not the end of the troubles for those of us who run small businesses. The American economy is in deep trouble and is not likely to be fixed very quickly. All the major news outlets have commentaries about what’s happening and what to expect. It seems the consensus is that it’s unlikely we’re going to experience a level of unemployment seen during the Great Depression. That’s the good news. The bad news is that things are ugly and their likely get much worse before they get better. And if that wasn’t enough, things are probably not to get better any time soon.
Small business owners are highly unlikely to land the line of credit they need in order to expand their business in the near future. So what can you do? No one can tell you what you need to do in your particular business, but I’ve always been a big supporter of the low-cost direct marketing style in my businesses. I suggest you start rethinking all the creative ways you can seek out more revenue at a minimum cost. This means not only getting new customers at minimum cost, but equally important, you need to try to sell more services to the customers you already have.
The situation is more complicated than simply not being able to obtain credit, but it is also going to be difficult for many business owners to even make it through the next several years. There has already been a big drop in consumer spending in the United States, and getting new customers as well as maintaining the ones you already have is going to get more difficult. That is why this is the time to get yourself back to the basic and most important task which is to get your business well marketed. There is nothing more important for your business in difficult times such as these than your marketing efforts.