It’s funny how just in the space of a month, a number of factors can influence the course of business! At the start of this year, and all through the 1st quarter, optimism seemed to be the order of the day. Sales were up, employment was growing, profits were up and even the stock market was pretty robust. It was looking like we were finally headed into positive territory and a much stronger recovery than the past two years.
And now? Well the issues in Europe do not seem to be stabilizing – in fact every other day shifts again from a solution to another setback, and ultimately all of the Euro zone economies are faltering. Job growth is stumbling as well – sure there are new jobs being initiated (I know we are responsible for 1 of them!), just not at the pace that is needed. Of course the stock market has responded by giving up any gains so far for the year. It seems like everyday we have a new source of depressing news.
So how do we overcome this? How do we move beyond the doom and gloom? I would suggest turn off the radio or TV and stick to you plan! If you were going to proactively seek out new markets or prospects, then keep at it. If you were going to look at integrating your message across other forms of media to attract attention, then go for it. If the start to your year was positive and you have some strength on the bottom line so far, then keep pushing – those competitors of yours that pull back will regret that strategy after you have increased your market share. This can be a great time to grow the top line at the expense of those that are now holding back.
I am not suggesting doing this without a plan, or haphazard spending. It will remain critical to control your expenses, however if your marketing strategy is well thought out and was viable at the start of the year, I believe you can still pursue it. Those businesses that are committed to expanding may find they do not achieve the full goal set for the year, but compared to those organizations that start pulling back now, they will be stronger at the end of the year. When the number of “voices” in your market are reduced, those that remain will be stronger and more easily heard. Now more than ever, is the time to get serious about your marketing efforts. Establish yourself as the resource and leader in your market and success will follow!