You may not be surprised to find out that home sales are down. Car sales are down. People are less likely to go out for dinner, or to the movies, or to buy a new HDTV.
But here's the thing: people are still buying homes. People are still buying cars. In the last month I've seen people eating out, enjoying a movie, and going to see a show. In fact, during my short commute I often see big HDTVs in the windows of the houses I pass.
In other words, the economy has not stopped. People still need your products and services. Maybe not as many as before the economy tanked, and maybe they're taking longer to make a buying decision, but people are buying.
So, who are they buying from?
As the pool of potential buyers dries up, a lot of businesses are taking a wait-and-see approach, or retrenching, or coming up with other euphemisms for putting their head in the sand and waiting for some stimulus package to make everything alright.
Does that describe your approach?
Are people buying from the companies that have curtailed their advertising spending? That have stopped blogging? That aren't putting any money into search engine optimization?
An economic downturn can be a boon for many companies: those of us who realize this is the time to market, to blog, to improve one's search engine visibility. (I'm still not sold on advertising, but it depends on your business.)
As the pendulum swings further into the recession there may be a knee-jerk reaction to cut your advertising and marketing budget. Unfortunately, you'll miss out on the opportunities that are going on right now.
By continuing to market your products you'll continue to get sales in the downturn, and you'll be in a better position to take advantage when things turn around. (And yes, they will turn around.)
Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. Improving your site's search engine visibility, or blogging more often, or sending out a few more email newsletters, or engaging in social media can all be low-cost, high-return ways of staying ahead in a down economy.
Let your competition bide their time and lick their wounds; you should use this opportunity to find new customers and new opportunities.