Updated Dec. 18, 2011
Do you ever wonder why the economic climate is unhealthy? Why the unemployment rate is so high? Or why government policies aren’t conducive to economic growth and the creation of jobs?
In essence, the culprits are government, business greed and inadequate coverage from local broadcast journalism.
Government is culpable because of its political theatrics – failure to set realistic priorities and implementation of unnecessary programs – an immature approach to budgeting.
Business greed led to the financial-sector collapse. That includes the behavior of Wall Street, disingenuous mortgage underwriting, the abrupt terminations of credit lines to businesses, and the predatory practices of credit card companies charging huge interest rates and fees for to small businesses and consumers for bogus reasons.
The federal government has ostensibly tried to correct the problems, but failed. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has fought risky derivative trading and lending money to small businesses. The GOP claims to want to do something for small business. The credit card legislation hasn’t corrected all the injustices nor has it helped the majority of small businesses and consumers suffering from tepid or low credit scores as a result of the predatory practices.
The tax incentives to create jobs aren’t working because an economic engine, small business, isn’t in a position to do so. Either the businesses still have poor credit or they can’t afford to risk hiring workers. The incentives are just a pittance compared to the costs of a yearly salary, benefits and the risks of having to layoff newly hired workers. Unemployment insurance is too high for them, as it is.
And small business loans aren’t available to credit-challenged businesses. Even if they could get loans, it would only exacerbate the situation because the businesses aren’t making enough money to pay the loans back. They have too few customers. Consumers can’t afford to buy nor do they have the credit to do so.
Healthcare is a related issue. Polls show Americans opposed the efforts of President Obama and the Democrats. But the public officials didn’t listen.
Even Steve Jobs agreed before his passing, according to his biography: Will President Obama listen to Steve Jobs on the economy?
So where does that leave us regarding my premise about the connection – local TV news coverage, dysfunctional government and the economic downturn? Can we agree about the harmful effects of the Great Recession? Great.
How about the power of television? A little later I’ll point out how the power of TV is not being used and why is isn’t relevant.
That leaves the other two – news coverage and more analysis of government policy.
First, let’s consider governments’ refusals to implement best-practices in management and to adhere to transparency standards. These are huge problems and not just at the federal government level.
The state governments of California and Washington are typical examples:
California. Thanks to The Sacramento Bee, we wouldn’t learn “California agencies’ pay cuts hit departments unevenly,” or why. It’s rare for a local TV station to be as enterprising.
In a related matter, California state employees are given wide latitudes for leaves (see personnel policies). But only a third of the state agencies reportedly send certain payroll records to Sacramento. This means records are more costly to maintain, audit and verify such scattered cost centers, vis-à-vis a centralized location.
One also has to wonder about accountability. California state workers already enjoy comparatively high wages and benefits. The accrued vacation time is subject to abuse, especially when an outside watchdog is not allowed access to the records.
Typically, many government managers are afraid of their unions and employees. Last year’s furlough issue typifies the litigious atmosphere and lack of empathy for taxpayers. Government employees are notorious for gaming the system to disingenuously jack up their pensions. Pensions are calculated based on the workers’ level pay before retirement. Plus, California has a $48 billion unfunded pension liability, according to a Pew Study: “California Faces Challenges in Managing Bills Coming.”
So, it’s necessary to centralize the recordkeeping, and it would make it easier to check such records. When Californians are struggling in an era of high unemployment in an economic downturn, such state behavior is eye-opening. And given that California is mired in red ink, it’s important for state government to conform to best-practices.
Why else have a state controller?
Washington. With the exception of one statewide elected official who is retiring, it’s also important to question the Washington State Legislature’s and bureaucrats’ elitist handling of taxpayer assets and disrespect of transparency standards. Just a few years ago, I devoted multiple columns about their shell game to furtively circumvent the state’s legal spending limit after incriminating e-mails were discovered. It resulted in a case before the Washington Supreme Court.
But nothing changed and the chicanery continues.
Four times voters approved taxpayers’ protections. But lawmakers keep circumventing the wishes of voters. Despite multi-billion dollar shortfalls, the spending keeps increasing; while the private sector has cut back significantly and has lost about 200,000 jobs in the past few years.
Washington has an outstanding state auditor who has repeatedly demonstrated the need for transparency and conducts performance audits. But not enough people in state government want transparency and good performance.
My sense is that a TV steady coverage of important issues would help put a stop to the government dysfunction.
For example, the average half hour of TV newscasts in Los Angeles has a whopping 22 seconds devoted to reports about local government, according to research by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The study, reported by Variety, indicates the 22 seconds is comprised of “…budgets, law enforcement, education, new ordinances, voting procedures, city and government actions and more…”
Local business and the economy got a sum total of 29 seconds per half hour.
To what did the stations allocate their news coverage?
- Crime – two minutes, 50 seconds
- Sports and weather – 3 minutes, 36 seconds
- “Fluff” – two minutes, 26 seconds
- Promotional teases – two minutes, 10 seconds
“KCAL ran the most news about local government, economy and business,” Variety reported. “As for the L.A. Times, the paper devoted 10 percent of its front-page space to local government and 6 percent to L.A. business and economy.”
Any you know what? This is typical of most local TV coverage throughout California, Washington and the rest of the nation.
Not to be gauche, but generally the closest the stations come to reporting on the economy and the impacts of business events and trends are ostentatious consumer investigations – but little about business, the big economic picture or public policy. The rest of the time they’re either rewriting Associate Press stories or rushing out to do live shots of traffic accidents. It’s tragic.
When I was a full-time broadcast journalist in the 1970s and 1980s, I learned the public does care about the impacts of government behavior and business on the economy. When we covered a story about state government, it was remarkable to see the abrupt change in bureaucrats’ behavior and ratings improved.
When was the last time you saw a business journalist on your local TV newscast? Or, for that matter, when did you last see an editorial?
Newspapers do a much better job in both areas. But even print business-journalist jobs have been disappearing.
It’s time for reflection and change in the Fourth Estate. It’s a question of pride in doing the right thing for the community. Otherwise, many Americans will continue to feel their economic and political freedoms are at-risk.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are more public policy columns.
“Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.”
-John F. Kennedy
Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complementary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?
Are you one of the countless baby boomers who is relying on Social Security before you reach retirement age? You’re not alone. The dearth of jobs has prompted many Americans to accept lower Social Security payments at the age of 62. This means Social Security is forecast to start paying out more in benefits than it receives starting in 2017.
The Labor Dept. says some 2.7 million Americans will lose their unemployment parachute checks near the tax-filing deadline of April15. About 6.3 million folks have been out-of-work for six months or longer.
The government believes 15 million people are jobless. That’s only an estimate. It doesn’t include the high number of self-employed people desperately taking independent contractor projects because they can’t find jobs, or the under-employed taking temporary jobs.
These numbers also jurt job creation. Higher unemployment rates charged to business by government is a disincentive, too.
After having worked through 6 major economic downturns, my analysis of the data and the trends is that the real unemployment rate is about 25 percent. That’s depression-like, not recession-like numbers.
A recent study proves it’s getting worse for American workers. The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston sums up the problem in its study’s subtitle – “A Truly Great Depression Among the Nation’s Low Income Workers Amidst Full Employment Among the Most Affluent.”
For the nation to catch up, most experts believe 100,000 new jobs need to be created every 30 days. But veteran pragmatists know it won’t happen. Count me as one of those.
The job drought is not a new phenomenon in the sense that it’s been years in the making. The federal government began tracking the number of unemployed in 1948.
Many jobs have not and will not return. Not to over-simplify, institutional investors own increasing numbers of companies. Largely, they extract profits by slashing payrolls and encouraging offshoring of jobs in Latin America and Asia where labor is cheaper.
Since 2000, automation is responsible to cutting 5.6 million jobs.
After each recession since 1970, job-growth rates have decreased. Published reports indicate that even before the Great Recession, it was less than one percent a year and was only 2.4 percent in the 1990s and 1980s, according to the Labor Department figures.
Based on trends following recessions, I’m in agreement with economists who forecast it will be at least five years before the unemployment rate returns to more palatable levels – hence, the term, jobless recovery. Even then, I’m not sure it will happen.
Historically, consumer spending has been a key ingredient for economic recovery. But that won’t happen unless there’s a fundamental economic change.
This also means the tax revenue pie for governments at all levels will remain flat.
For good reason, Americans have returned to 1930’s money values. They’re becoming tight-fisted with their money and are demanding government accountability.
The housing bubble resulted in a high volume of excise taxes, but the high rate of foreclosures alters that scenario.
Talk to anyone who checks credit for consumers or small businesses. The aggregate level of bad credit is huge –largely caused by the predatory behavior of big lenders. They’ve nearly destroyed the livelihoods of small businesses with mega interest rate hikes for bogus reasons.
Small business has historically has been the main job-creation engine, but no more.
Small businesses do not have the financial firepower expand and create jobs. New credit card legislation does nothing to correct the injustices.
Instead of focusing on helping business, government at every level, is hindering the economic climate. Economic and political freedoms are being stolen each day by bad government policy (See this site’s other Public Policy columns). The largest employer in many communities is government. Public-sector agencies are still growing, not laying off, while spending and taxing at ever-increasing levels. For the common good of all Americans, change is needed.
Businesses and consumers can no longer afford the status quo in taxes. Government must reform.
From the Coach’s Corner, effective on Feb. 22, 2010, here is the essence of the credit card law:
- Credit card companies cannot increase the rate in the first year until the introductory rate expires. The banks must give 45 days notice to change the rate.
- Unless two months past due, rates can’t be changed.
- The original interest rate must be granted once payments are on time for six months.
- The fine print will be easier to grasp.
- Activation and annual fees can’t exceed 25 percent of the credit limit in the first year; and will be unlimited after 12 months.
- Credit card statements must be sent three weeks in advance.
- Transactions can’t take place over the credit limit unless the cardholder agrees.
- The “universal fault” nonsense (if you were late one day on one payment, the other credit card companies jacked up your rate) is stopped and interest rates on existing balances must stay the same (see No.1).
- Companies can’t give students or anyone under 21 a car unless she/he has a co-signer or the autonomous ability to pay statements. Schools have to make public any credit-card marketing deals, and companies cannot stage publicity or giveaway events on or near campuses.
Updated July 15, 2010 – 3 p.m.
An influential U.S. senator, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), worked to regulate the perilous use of derivatives by Wall Street bankers, and criticized the Obama Administration in the process. But her derivative strategy worked. The sweeping financial reform legislation will regulate the risky, intangible instruments.
This means derivative trading now faces regulation, and financial institutions will have to set up a fire wall by moving their derivative departments elsewhere.
“This isn’t about poking the White House, it’s about getting capital flowing to small businesses,” Sen. Cantwell said in an interview with Les Blumenthal, a reporter for McClatchy’s Washington state newspapers.
She helped lead the fight against investment bankers, who were bailed out by taxpayers only to shell out big bonuses and who are at it again. Instead of extending credit to business, Wall Street is back to the old tricks of playing risky derivative games that helped lead to Wall Street’s meltdown and the global-financial disaster.
She’s also had a testy exchange with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the failed efforts to bail out community banks and the associated credit issues faced by her Washington state constituents and other American businesses and consumers.
“We are trying to keep the focus on what needs to be done to get credit flowing and avoid another bubble,” Sen. Cantwell also said. “Do I wish the White House team was more attuned to these issues? Yes.”
Yes is right. It’s commendable that she’s become outspoken about regulating Wall Street’s behavior.
If she’s successful, we’ll see job creation – the only way out of this mess. I’ve been harping about this and asking for answers to questions for an extended period of time starting with this column, “Is it Time to Police Pay at Wall Street Banks?”
And she was right about voting against the reappointment of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. Few in Congress seem to understand Main Street issues and his tardy, tepid handling of the Great Recession at the Fed.
Sen. Cantwell partnered with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the former GOP presidential candidate, to bring back the commercial/investment banking firewall. This will prevent risk-taking by commercial banks that exacerbated two downturns in the 1930s and the most-recent financial chaos. The two worked together on the Senate Commerce Committee.
Cash flow and credit are critical for operating a business. With too-few funds available in loans, businesses have been failing or, at least, suffering from bad credit as a result of not having access to capital.
Efforts by the Obama Administration and Small Business Administration to provide more loans are to be commended. However, they are way too-little and too late. Most afflicted small businesses now have poor credit because of the cash cutoffs and they won’t qualify for any the funding.
Credit card regulations were too late, too.
Nothing has been done to help repair the credit of the millions of small businesspeople and consumers who were victimized by the credit card companies – domiciled in a handful of states that permit predatory behavior – their rapacious interest rate hikes for bogus reasons and slashed credit lines.
Sen. Cantwell also indicated her disappointment that the Obama Administration twice reneged on promises for action on the proposed firewall between commercial and investment banks.
“Their economic team is not living up to what they said they would,” she explained to Mr. Blumenthal.
Hmm. Broken promises? That’s not what America needs, but we can appreciate Sen. Cantwell’s candor and successful efforts.
From the Coach’s Corner, on another somber note regarding credit: Customers of the hospitality industry are ostensibly the No. 1 target of hackers, here’s the article.
Part three: How to grow your small business
In analyzing the growth rates of small businesses – every great entrepreneur has one salient quality – the ability to be an effective manager.
An effective manager efficiently allocates resources for achieving goals. Quality management usually results from an independent SWOT analysis – assessing internal strengths and weaknesses along with evaluating external opportunities and threats.
Self-employed people need to carefully inventory their own strengths and weaknesses as business personalities. They should also assess how to maintain their good health because they’ll suffer if they don’t. Larger companies should focus on several factors in a strength-weakness analysis of their human resources, such as recruitment, training and development, compensation, culture, leadership, reliability, and salespeople.
Once a business owner looks in the mirror to assess management strengths and weaknesses, then he or she is ready to analyze opportunities and threats for a strategic plan.
Even if a strategic plan is well-written, beware: Management practices that work well in the early growth of a small firm often cause problems later, according to a series of articles in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) by Dr. Larry E. Greiner. He believes such managers fail to take into account “present events or market dynamics.”
“Creative activities are essential for a company to get off the ground. But as the company grows, those very activities become the problem,” Dr. Greiner wrote in a 1998 HBR article, “Evolution and revolution as organizations grow.” His thesis is still accurate.
Business expert Neil Delisanti agrees that managers often fail to solve red flags:
“There are forces inside the organization that they control; forces outside the organization over which they have little, if any, control; and probably most important, red flags in themselves, about which they may or may not be aware. A good manager must be constantly aware of the impact of all these forces. One of the common failings in managers is that they blame all sorts of things for their failures, rather than admitting they didn’t have a good handle on what’s happening.”
Mr. Delisanti has gifted insights because he speaks from both an academic and solid mentoring perspective. He was a faculty member at both the University of Puget Sound and The Evergreen State College. As the guru for the Small Business Development Center in Tacoma, he counseled more than 2,000 companies.
Mr. Deslisanti believes too many small business owners micro-manage:
“Many folks start a business and believe it is their inspiration that made it a success. Although this is sometimes true, what we find on closer inspection is that it was their perspiration and natural management ability that was more responsible. They have invested a lot, money, time, and sanity, in their enterprise and find it hard turning it over, often even small parts, to someone else to possibly blow it. Any business can grow to where the owner just cannot physically, mentally or emotionally, do it all.”
Does he believe managers limit their business growth by poor human-resource management techniques?
“Often, yes. This is particularly true of a company that starts with an owner and spouse sitting at the dining room table. Not only are there innumerable government restrictions on what is legal, we have to look at what the workforce expects from employers today. The management of people isn’t as simple as the old my way or the highway anymore. Diversity in all areas requires that SBOs have to look at differences in age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, background and experience – just to mention a few facets that have to be considered.”
So, one key step is to partner with your employees.
When to start HR function
“I strongly recommend that as a business gets above the 15-20 employee range, the owner set up some sort of human resource function, and get some assistance in designing job descriptions, recruitment policies, pre-tests, application forms and very importantly – interview policies and procedures,” he suggested. Here’s a checklist of strategies to succeed as a new manager.
To underscore his concerns about HR precautions, I agree. I’ve been called upon to help two businesses:
1. A cable TV company was fined $15,000 by U.S. District Court for sexual discrimination of an applicant. The company’s law firm asked me to provide a three-hour seminar on Equal Employment Opportunity laws as part of the sentencing to close the case.
2. An interstate trucking firm was fined $100,000 and required to design a new wage and compensation plan (Note: the company’s pay system worked fine when it was smaller).
In both cases, the bosses were nice people unaware of the dangers in a litigious society.
Because small businesspeople often seem to feel they’re under siege, Mr. Delisanti suggests:
“Have a vision or goal and incorporate it into a strategic plan, which is different than a business plan. This can come in many forms, but it should be organized and written. Identify your vision and then develop a list of goals that will let you succeed, quantify them, put some time frames on completing them. Most important – assign some responsibility to someone to get it done. This will have you on a course of your choosing and let you become proactive instead of reactive.”
He says some companies grow too fast:
“This happens when growth gets out of control when you can’t fill the orders, due to a lack of materials, equipment, people or cash. This can also happen when the company gets too big for the owner to handle.”
Mr. Delisanti believes others grow too slow to cover added costs and expenses:
“Usually, this is a result of overly optimistic forecasts that bring about expenditures that far exceed revenues. Many reasons cause this, such as an SBO’s enthusiasm; level of success with business on a smaller scale; and non-credible or insufficient marketing research,” he said.
Mr. Delisanti warns about unforeseen situations in the external environment:
“Even the best forecasting can’t predict a tsunamis, earthquake and the level of destruction that natural disasters can wreak upon an industry. Consider skiing in the Pacific Northwest some seasons – there can be a bad time to open a new ski shop.”
He says challenges result from miscalculating factors in what he calls an “uncontrollable” industry environment:
“When a business conducts an opportunity-threat analysis, it should look closely at a number of factors and make its decision, based on what it thinks will happen and how the chain of events will impact its goal attainment. If the business thinks incorrectly, it might lose the competitive advantage over somebody thinking correctly. Remember: Everybody can’t win. If you look at all the data and think that interest rates will go up 9 percent and take the actions that will best help you achieve your goals under those conditions, but if they only go up 2 percent, other companies will probably have an advantage over you.”
One other thought, here’s how and when you should develop an exit strategy.
So, there you have an overview – how to grow your small business – in a three-part series.
For the other two parts in how to grow your small business, see:
From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a must read: ‘The Book…on Business from A to Z’.
“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Part two of a three-part series: How to grow your small business
Why do businesses sometimes falter? Let’s get the perspective of a retired longtime business professor and business counselor who is actively pursued for his opinions.
“One reason is they fail to understand their special niche or their market,” said Neil Delisanti, who enjoyed a unique, long career as a business professor at the University of Puget Sound and The Evergreen State College. He also ran the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Tacoma, WA, where he advised more than 2,000 firms.
Mr. Delisanti says the mortality rate for small business is high in the first years of operation and it’s still true that 85 percent of businesses fail in their first year. The odds dramatically improve once you’ve survived for five years. So, what can you do to win?
He advises studying the emotions of consumers in their buying habits:
“Consumers want to visualize how your products enhance their families, personal lives or professions. Usually in household situations, women make 70-80 percent of purchases. They like hearing the term ‘security’ associated with their purchases. Other key persuasive words include: easy, good, healthy, new, own, proven, and results.”
Mr. Delisanti says businesses grow by developing core values, a vision, and a business plan:
“Don’t fantasize about what you think the market will be, or even worse, what you want it to be. Find out well before you invest your hard-to-accumulate capital, or take a financially irreversible action. Most businesses will fail, if they don’t understand the market niche they are trying to serve.”
He warns about the danger of cannibalizing your business:
“This often happens when a business opens another location or takes on an additional, but similar product/service. If your first store in Los Angeles has customers coming from Pasadena, when you open the Pasadena store, you will lose their business in Los Angeles. So you may see a sizable loss of sales from the first location or the original product.”
Whether you’re challenged by other small companies or so-called box stores, he emphasizes the Internet is the easiest, most-economical way to check out competitors: their product descriptions, prices, customer lists, staff profiles, branding, and their target niches.
He prefers Yahoo finance for free financial data on big firms. You can research the press coverage of competitors on search engines and sign up for Google news alerts for competitors and your business.
To see which Web sites drive traffic to your competitors, go to Google and type “link,” a colon, a space, and then their Internet address. You can request them to link to your site, too.
You can check your competitors’ marketing strategy for free by researching listings of trade shows at www.tsnn.com. Trade magazines and associations sometimes provide information and startup resource kits.
Above all, visit SBDC. SBDC probably has an office near you.
“Regarding your brand, which will help set you apart from others, make certain you give adequate thought to your name, logo, slogan, pricing, location, and anticipated level of customer service,” said Mr. Delisanti. “Next, research what you need to trademark to protect against plagiarism and focus on presenting a consistent message.” (In Washington, the Secretary of State’s office will trademark a name or slogan for a nominal fee.)
Because advertising by itself is no longer adequate, your strategy for growth should include stimulating consumers into talking about your company’s value at the water cooler while they’re at work. That means a strategy of buzz marketing, which basically consists of three elements: paid advertising, earned advertising, and developing centers of influence.
In paid advertising, try to accomplish two objectives – short term sales and long-term branding success. However, this makes budgeting for advertising a bit tricky; 2 percent of adjusted gross sales is the maximum for most businesses. Some suppliers have co-op programs and will pay part or all of your co-op, which is welcomed by newspaper, radio and TV sales people. Co-op ads are an economical way to drive traffic to your Web site, but remember a good-looking Web site doesn’t guarantee success because it often merely serves as an online brochure.
Given all the chicanery in cybercrime and competition, see the best practices to optimize your brand and manage your Web reputation.
If you can afford TV advertising, make certain your commercial airs regularly and is highly visual. Don’t underestimate the value of audio to help grab the attention of viewers. Avoid the temptation to be too cute – concentrate instead on the benefits valued by consumers. Remember the Taco Bell Chihuahua dog? Sales actually dropped and the chain was forced to change its strategy.
It’s possible to dominate with a high frequency of TV commercials in off-peak hours. Understand whether you need a 5, 15, 30 or 60-second commercial. I like to air two 15-second commercials twice in the same break, at the beginning and again at the end. Known as bookends, they can accelerate your brand awareness. Be sure your messages don’t air adjacent to competitors.
Radio is good, too. As I do with TV news programs, my preference is a respected all-news or news-talk station. You’ll reach an active, socially aware audience. Their listeners’ average net-worth is usually higher. A good classical music station is good, too, for reaching high net worth listeners.
Sponsor worthy events and local news coverage to become a magnet for community-minded consumers with good credit.
Think about public speaking. Here’s how to get more opportunities as a guest speaker and here’s how to obtain the most profit from speaking opportunities.
Direct mail coupons only attract price-conscious consumers once after each mailing. This means coupons won’t attract repeat customers to enhance your brand equity. With the success of the Internet, young adults increasingly ignore radio stations and newspapers.
Your paid-advertising campaigns need to be synchronized with earned advertising – good press about your business. Here’s how to leverage the news media for free PR. Note: journalists and bloggers also often take note of cause-related marketing campaigns that benefit the community.
Public relations is enhanced with video press releases.
You might benefit from unplanned PR opportunities by frequently advertising on TV news programs. Journalists will see your ads because they watch to evaluate their own reports as well as the work of their competitors to make certain they aren’t scooped on major stories.
A case study: After one of my clients consistently sponsored news programs for one year, a Seattle TV producer called me to request a live interview of my client regarding a new product; I hadn’t even submitted a press release. (The reporter is now an NBC newscaster.)
Developing centers of influence is a strategy of generating buzz with influential people to create referrals. Join professional, business, and civic groups (i.e. Rotary). Focus on value and customer service with strategic partnerships. For example, I’ve enjoyed synergizing clients, such as credit unions and car dealers. The credit unions advertised car sales in their newsletters, which resulted in credit unions loaning funds, dealers selling cars, and consumers happily driving home.
Don’t forget social networking media and blogging informative articles. See the best practices in search engine optimization for a No.1 rated blog.
Other Delisanti reminders for growth:
- Develop multiple revenue streams and a new product line.
- Be pro-active, which means making old-fashioned cold calls.
- Maintain relationships by sending greeting cards, thank you notes, special offer notifications, and an occasional visit or phone call to just chat and not sell. Make certain your small business voice is heard – vote and make your business concerns known to lawmakers.
To check out the other two columns in this three-part series, how to grow your small business, see:
From the Coach’s Corner: To summarize the principles of marketing essentials for growth on a shoestring budget, consider the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Note the eight best practices in small business marketing.
“I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.