Would you like to have a government official or agency running your business? Not unless you want to run it into the ground. Unfortunately many small business owners pursue their marketing program like a government official. Use facts and reality, not hype.

I was listening to a small business owner I know tell me his banker said all’s well in the banking industry and the economy is looking up. Hype or reality? What do the facts say?

Last year there were over 500 banks on the troubled bank list, and roughly 120 banks that were closed by the FDIC during the year. This year we have had 22 banks closed by the FDIC through the first two months of the year. That’s on pace for 132 closures. Further, this week the troubled bank list grew to nearly 650. Looks like it’s getting better, right?

The point is you must watch your financing, be it working capital loans or term loans coming up for renewal. Know if your bank is on the troubled bank list. Know that if banks continue to fail lending restrictions could tighten and you might not be able to renew your loan. Don’t be caught unaware and base decisions on facts, not hype.

Also know that there won’t be handouts to small business like those given to big business. You must learn how to survive and thrive in this marketplace. The best way to do that is increase your market share.

Market share can only be increased by following proven marketing techniques that work in your particular business. Do you know if your marketing efforts are working? Most business owners I ask can’t give me hard facts as to what they are doing and what the results are.

Consider this, when the government throws money at a problem (your money, by the way) they do it based on unproven, unsupported, and untrackable ideas. Further, if they explain it at all, they do so in such a long complicated way that you simply give up and say “they must know what they are doing, I guess.”

The government has never been or had the solution and never will. Would you want a government official or agency running your business? Only if you wanted to run it into the ground.

Agreed? Then take my advice and don’t market your business the way the government would, with unproven, unsupported, and untrackable ideas.

If you can’t measure the results of every dollar you spend marketing your business, then you, like the government, are just throwing your money away. You’ll never be able to improve on what you are doing if you can’t test your results and fine tune them.

Many businesses have found their market has contracted in this down economy. There are fewer buyers. The only way to maintain or grow your business will be to grow your market share. The only way to do that is by testing and improving your marketing.

Don’t procrastinate on this. You don’t have the time to waste. If you need help to get started, ask for it. There are opportunities in every situation, don’t miss yours!


by Steven Schlagel