Swimming in January
In the 1930’s, my grandfather was a member of his local polar bear club. When asked what it has been like to be in business during the last couple of weeks, I’ve thought of him jumping in the freezing cold water in January. This economic climate isn’t comfortable, but it has a way of invigorating the senses and washing away complacency. There will be a feeling of accomplishment when we’re all dried off. However, we still may be a long way from the warming hut. It’s not trite to say that those of us under 80 have never seen anything like this in our lifetime and it’s anyone’s best guess as to where it will go from here. The peanut gallery will entertain an ongoing discussion of how much worse it will get. This exercise is guestimation, at best. After hearing NYU’s Nouriel Roubini discuss his prognosis on the future at last year’s Real Estate Connect, one person commented “Well, that’s why they call economics the dismal science.” The economic tsunami will take out both good and bad companies but there are ways to improve your chances. While it may sound self-serving, leveraging the power of the internet to grow your business is at the top of the list. This will be the first recession of the Web 2.0 era. The Internet today is a very different beast then it was in the days of the dot-com hangover. More people are online then ever and they use the web for a broader number of services than in the past. The acquisition cost per client on the web is still lower then offline media. Campaigns can be made much more precise. All the results of internet marketing are trackable thanks to tools like Google Analytics. As a result, when deciding where to trim advertising budgets, business owners are more likely to do it offline. I believe this trend attributed to Google’s revenues increasing in the third quarter. Part of my cautious optimism is anecdotal. Several of our clients have told us that they’re reducing their overall spending but are increasing their internet marketing investment. We will be releasing a new internet marketing package in November at a discounted rate to help those clients who are committed to internet marketing. Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more. Finally, over the last couple of weeks I have been asked by a number of business owners, clients and friends how Union Street Media is weathering the financial storm. During our staff meeting last week we outlined how we’re preparing to address some of the challenges that we’ll likely face over the next couple of months. Thanks to our strong growth over the past five years and a prudent, old yankee financial management strategy, we feel we’re well positioned for what may come our way. We look forward to seeing you in the warming hut!