You may be thinking that small business growth is an impractical expectation during an economic downturn. However, just the opposite is true. In fact some of today’s most successful business actually entered the market or flourished during poor economic conditions. Take for example, General Electric, a business that survived through both global and national crisis but today remains one of the original twelve companies of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE is a testament to business resolve and adaptation. You might for one reason or another think GE is simply a business anomaly but history shows us not only one thriving business but several of the most famous business of our era who have either grown or flourished during poor economic conditions. These companies include:
- Burger King
What’s even more interesting is that according to Kauffman.org more than 50% of 2009’s Fortune 500 list we launched during a recession or bear market. There’s really no reason to fear doing business in a bad economy because in actuality, according to Intuit. 60% of businesses have already survived a recession at one point during their business life- which is strangely enough equal to the percentage of businesses that survive their first two years.
Yes, a small business can grow in this economy. Interestingly enough a struggling economy gives business more opportunities to provide solutions that people and other businesses both want and need. The question you should be asking yourself is not whether small business can grow but instead ask what successful small businesses are doing and do the same. In short the question should be, what’s working now and why?
What’s Working Now and Why?
Trade shows, telemarketing, print ads, mass marketing, and direct mail are just some activities in a scheme of what we refer to as outbound marketing. Outbound marketing in the current business climate is become less and less effective largely because these methods cost much more than inbound marketing and because consumers are becoming better equipped to block out marketing messages. Today’s customers have call screening, caller ID, spam filters, and pre-programmed media channels, and commercial free media.
Moreover nearly 30% of the world’s entire population, approximately 2 billion people have access to the internet; making it extremely easy for consumers to go online and locate discounts, sales, or more information as opposed to holding on to paper coupons or flyers they receive via direct mail. Inbound marketing is becoming a stronghold for many small businesses primarily because it costs substantially less to run successful inbound marketing campaigns than it would to run a successful outbound marketing campaign.
Furthermore, inbound marketing strategies solve the marketing message blockout problem. How? The basis of inbound marketing is founded on the idea that searching for consumers in the mass market is less profitable or lucrative than having consumers search for you. Furthermore, inbound marketing strategies embrace the concept of permission centric marketing popularized by Seth Godin.
A form of marketing that builds relationships with consumers, creates a foundation of trust through relationships, and ultimately allowing businesses to both nurture and retain sales in both the short and long term. The idea of permission marketing and lead nurturing is applicable to all business types and industry segments. Companies focused on product sales via e-commerce benefit from lead generation and lead nurturing because it helps combat shopping cart abandonment, increases trust through community in the form of consumer product reviews and ratings or social media recommendations. In contrast companies selling services to a B2B market also benefit from content generation as means of showcasing expertise which is ultimately followed by lead conversions and then sales conversions. From every vertical across every segment inbound marketing proves to be a stronghold in today’s marketplace.
Yes, small businesses can grow in this economy. According to CNNMoney in 2011 on only one weekend alone sales amounted to nearly $1.2 million. Today’s consumers are spending money but they also have more control over how they spend via the internet and digital marketing mediums. If you are serious about growing your small business in today’s economy you need to be using inbound marketing strategies. If you need help getting started let us know, and of course you can start by checking out some of our FREE e-books available for download.
If you want to implement Inbound Marketing strategies to help grow your small business, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.