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Time to Recharge – Or Just Charge?


Last week in this space I talked about summer vacation.

Just as summertime makes people think about relaxing, in this down economy most of your competitors are taking it easy, and have been for years.

Which is why this is the best opportunity most of us will ever see in our lifetimes to build wealth.

When the economy took a major turn for the worse about three years ago in September 2008, I was a consultant to yellow pages advertisers on behalf of one of the major directory publishers.

But it didn’t take being on the inside of the industry to know the ugly truth.

The almost immediate knee-jerk reaction by the overwhelming majority of small business owners was to cut back on (or cancel completely) their yellow pages advertising – and all their other marketing efforts as well – because of the downturn in the economy.

Which is the exact OPPOSITE of the smart approach to the situation.

“It’s senseless to even try to attract new customers when no one’s spending any money” was – and still is – the prevailing opinion among business owners of all kinds.

But that kind of thinking is wrong – on so many levels…

First of all, there are extremely few industries where “no one” is spending any money (and if you’re still in one of those – such as the manufacturing, selling or repairing of VCR’s, carburetors, or rotary telephones, for example, you should have moved into a new line of work a long time ago).

The fact is that even at its very lowest point during the recent recession, our nation’s economy was only a few percentage points below where it was during the height of the economic boom of a few years ago. And today, the overall economy is actually on an upswing, with more money being spent now than back in the fall of 2008.

So be honest with yourself: Even if the economy was down 10%, couldn’t you find a way to get plenty of business with 90% of the money still flying around that was being spent during the boom?

The truth of the matter is: Everyone is still spending money; we’re just far more cautious how we spend it than we were just a few years ago. So if you want to prosper during these difficult times, make sure to ignore the prevailing doom-and-gloom mentality and understand that there’s still plenty of money out there for the taking.
Now here’s the exciting part…

It’s likely that your competitors don’t realize that fact. Instead, they’ve bought into the generally-accepted defeatist mentality and are choosing to scale back – or give up completely – in their efforts to attract new customers, clients or patients.

Such “acting out of fear” has never been a recipe for business success. In fact, it’s a near-certain road to business frustration and failure.

If one or more of your competitors has scaled back or stopped their marketing efforts, they’ve rolled out the red carpet for you not only to capture the lion’s share of all the new business that’s out there, but also to swoop in and woo some of their customers away from them while they’re asleep at the wheel.

I’ve been orchestrating such market share capture for myself and my clients for the past several years. The inactivity of most small business owners makes it almost too easy, when you know what to do.

And that’s what makes this such a great time for sharp, aggressive business owners: While your competitors are on an extended “summer vacation,” it’s easier than ever to make money today and build equity for the future.

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