Marketing and the New (That’s Right I Didn’t Say Down) Economy
Layoffs, cutbacks, corporate bankruptcies and budget revisions are all over the news these days. You can hardly turn on the television or leave your house without hearing about the increasing unemployment rate or seeing yet another small company or store that is going out of business.
While the news, and some economists, would have you believe that doomsday is looming near, smart businesspeople are seeing this new economy for what it is – an exceptional opportunity to increase brand awareness, corner your particular market and take advantage of the expansive applicant pool to bring solid, well-educated talent on board.
Big business is running scared and weaker businesses are being weeded out. This means that now is the perfect time to take advantage of a faltering market and stake your claim. And, now is the time to take steps to position your business for increased success when consumers’ expendable incomes begin to increase.
While everyone else seems to be cutting their marketing budgets to a minimum, now is the time for you to increase your marketing efforts, spend more money on increasing brand awareness and exploit your resources to draw the attention of potential customers and clients. By the time the others stop shaking in their boots and begin to spend money on marketing again, you will have already solidified an increased presence and will have enlarged your market share.
Now is also the time to build your team. Unless your employees are not that impressive, or you simply cannot afford to keep them on, avoid layoffs. Laying people off only increases the unemployment rate, which increases the burden on the system, which increases the tax burden on individuals and businesses. Which, of course, keeps the cycle going.
Not only should you not lay people off, but you should take this opportunity to bring more people on. It is an employer’s market out there and there is an abundance of over-qualified potential employees just waiting to answer your phones or make your coffee. You can pick up MBAs at a bargain these days; you can even score one as your personal driver if you like. The key is to comb through the applicant pool and add real talent to your team any way you can. It might be driving you around or picking up your dry cleaning right now, but if you bring on the right people and treat them well, their gratitude just might keep them around when employment opportunities begin to increase again.
Even if their current title is driver, an MBA is an MBA and will bring brilliant marketing ideas, cutting edge business skills and fresh, new ideas to your business. Listen to them, appreciate them, and be clear with them about your plans right from the beginning. Let them know that the overall goal is to transition them into positions with increased responsibility and an increased salary, and start training them for these positions now.
When the demand for your product or service increases you will have employees on hand that are already familiar with your product, your company policies and company culture. This will foster a smooth transition into their new positions and will ensure that you are prepared for the influx of customers your increased marketing is sure to bring.
Do not let the tales of woe from poorly run companies that are now facing cutbacks and bankruptcies get you down. Take this opportunity to increase your marketing, form a dream team and grow your business for the years to come.