How to Build a Strong and Powerful Business During a Recession

business1If you are watching the news, you are seeing daily stories about how another government institution is in financial trouble.

And while I despise the phrase “too big to fail,” it is true that governments are actually, “too important to fail.”

At home and in business, we don’t have the luxury to be “too big” or “too important” to fail, so we must be more responsible and either reduce spending or increase revenue. Unfortunately, most politicians feel like they are exempt from having to reduce spending, so they are inclined to always seek methods to increase revenue, which makes our jobs harder when managing our personal or business budgets.

While politicians tend to put too much focus on increasing revenue, small business owners tend to put too much focus on reducing spending.

Bring Balance To The Force, Young Skywalkeryes

During a recession, most business owners pull the reins on advertising budgets, fearful of what tomorrow might bring…

Those who remain fearful have forgotten what made them the success they are today. They have forgotten that they have a God-given talent to overcome the incredible obstacles in their paths.

Some of the largest companies formed in the history of man owe their success to HOW they adapted to the economy during a recession. They reduced unnecessary expenses and focused completely on those things that made them the most money!

Examples of large, successful companies that launched during a recession include:

* Burger King – Started during a recession in 1954.

* FedEx (Federal Express) – Started during the 1973 recession, a recession that resulted from the 1973-1974 oil embargo.

* GE (General Electric) – Started in 1876, by Thomas Edison during the Panic of 1873.

* HP (Hewlett-Packard) – Founded in 1939 at the end of the Great Depression.

* CNN – Started during the recession of 1980, at the tail-end of the Carter administration, when the economy had been struggling for nearly a decade.

* Hyatt Corporation – Opened its first hotel in 1957, during the Eisenhower recession (1957-1958).

* IHOP – Also started during the Eisenhower recession.

* LexisNexis – Launched as a computerized legal research service in 1973, during the 1973-74 oil embargo.

* Microsoft – Started in 1975, during the recession created by the 1973 oil crisis.

* MTV Networks – Launched during the economic slump of 1981.

* Sports Illustrated – Was launched at the tail-end of the 1953-1954 recession.

These companies illustrate that a bad economy will not prevent success, but rather offer opportunities to grow fast and strong.

Studies have shown that rather than to reduce advertising during a recession, the wisest business persons will increase the advertising budget during the recession.

It Seems Counter-Intuitive, Doesn’t It?

The truth of the matter is that recessions bring consumer volatility, which means people are primed to change their spending habits.

Most consumers buy goods and services based on habitual behavior. This is the reason that Bing is having such a difficult time taking market share away from Google.

If you have used both, most people agree that Bing consistently delivers more relevant results. But consumers are habituated to using Google, because they believe that “Google provides the best search results…”

Since the summer of 2009, Bing has been the clear winner in the quality contest. In fact, the quality was so good when Bing was launched that Google raced to upgrade its own search algorithms. In a record time, about six months, Google completely rebuilt its search engine from the ground up.

Lucky for Google, its users never noticed how much better Bing was, because they had been drinking the Google Kool-Aid, forever believing that Google was “the best.”

During the fall of 2009, Google released the Beta-version of its new search engine, and then in Jan 2010, Google took its new search engine public with the Google Caffeine Update.

Once Google’s new search engine had been released, I imagine that its owners and managers sighed a collective sigh of relief. They had managed to return from the quality-underdog to an almost equal search engine, without losing any market share!

Your Competition Wants You To Drink The Recession Kool-Aid

During a recession, your competitors are weakened, because their customer base is also looking for cheaper or better alternatives.

If you tightened the noose on your marketing department, then you will have given your competitors the breathing room they needed to retain their market share, the same as Bing seemed to have done with Google.

Lessons From Failures and Successes

Bing did not tighten the purse strings on its new search engine, but opened the flood gates of spending. And in the end, Bing’s campaign floundered, because they did not clearly define for the global audience what made them better than Google.

Bing had the best opportunity in the history of Google to steal market share from Google. And they blew their opportunity to win market share!

Let Bing’s experience be a lesson to you. Open the taps for your marketing and advertising budget, but also be aware of the message you are trying to send to consumers.

Don’t leave consumers wondering why they should test their money at your company.

Be clear, concise and forceful that your product or service is better. And tell consumers how they can find you.

When the recession finally ends, consumers will fall back into the habits they had before the recession began, unless they have adopted new habits in the meantime.

You absolutely have to convince consumers to give you a chance, and while they are taking their chance on you, convince them that you should be their new, favorite habit to keep!

Burger King did it; CNN did it; IHOP did it, and Microsoft did it!

And if you are clever, you can do it too!

Recessions are an opportunity for the business-savvy to win new customers and market share. Are you going to accept the challenge before you, or let this opportunity pass you by?

If you are not competing for new customers on the Internet, you are making it easy for your competitors to crush you!! Your future customers are on the Internet NOW, looking for new merchants in your local area to serve their needs. Will those people find and choose your competitors or YOU? If you need help with your Local SEO and Local Marketing, then make it a point to find us at: Author: Trey McMartin.

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Trey McMartin