Despite Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve saying that output was unlikely to “grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly”, Register.com found that there was confidence amongst the 800 small businesses that they recently polled. 70% of the respondents did not expect a decline in revenue over the next year. In fact, about 35% expected more revenue! Keep reading to see how they expect to get that added revenue.
Given the looming recession (ok the not so looming recession), the US government is investing $117 billion through tax rebates at a time when one would normally hunker down and save. Can small businesses learn from the US government? Absolutely!
For well-positioned companies, an economic recession should not prompt marketing cutbacks, but rather an aggressive increase in marketing spending to achieve superior business performance according to research authored by Gary Lilien and Arvind Rangaswamy of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.
You have to get your name out there and do it more often. Brand awareness is key, more so during a slowdown. A good web strategy at this point would be to leverage technology to help you accomplish more with less. This is what the small businesses are planning to do. Topping the list of technologies that the small businesses said they will most likely invest in next year are website design (53%), SEO (43%), and email marketing (41%).
Website design is like remodeling your store. Aside from a fresh coat of paint, you want an uncluttered look to make people comfortable while they shop. They should know who you are and what you offer. Things should be easy to find, in logical places and customers should not have to go through hoops to make a purchase.
SEO is taking that remodeled store and locating it on a busy intersection, just off a highway and high up on a hill so that people can see it from miles away. The signage conveys the name of the store and what they sell. Having a good sign that communicates what the store offers attracts the right clientele.
Email marketing is like having special days where you invite a particular segment of the population to your store. Tuesdays may be Seniors Day where things are 15% off. Thursday may be Kids Days with small prizes and goodies for the young ones who bring parents in tow. The message is different to these two segments, as are the sales expectations and product mix.
I believe this is how the small businesses expect to grow sales. Do you have a web strategy? Is it contingent on your view of where the economy is heading?