Category Archives: Marketing Advice

What can small businesses do to stay alive during a recession?

With all of the mortgage disasters happening around us, the housing market being in shambles, and the presidency facing a change, people have begun to murmur that dreaded R-word. Recession. It strikes terror into the hearts of business owners as they lie awake at night, haunted by visions of their business drying up because people aren’t spending money anymore.

First off, let’s address the truth of the situation. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product.) Considering we showed growth in our GDP in the last TWO quarters of 2007 (source: Bureau of Economic Analysis –, the simple fact is, we are NOT in a recession. The media, however, is trumpeting about a recession, and so people are believing it, and growing afraid to spend money. Knock it off! Face facts! Don’t believe everything the media tells you!!

So, as a small business marketer, what can we do about this?

First off, when the economy gets tight, a small business will often cut the marketing budget first. BUZZZZ! Wrong answer! Your marketing is what attracts people to you, gets them to spend money with you. By cutting your marketing budget, you are crippling your ability to make money.

Over the next few weeks, I will be focusing on specific marketing methods and techniques to help you grow your business by tweaking some of the things you may already be doing, and NOT spending a lot of money. My goal is to help you realize the MAXIMUM Return on Investment (ROI) for every marketing dollar you spend.

Until next time.

Helping you WIN this war we call BUSINESS.

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.


Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing Advice

Are you neglecting a valuable marketing tool?

I am sure most people would agree that, if you you want a marketing piece to intrigue the potential client, then it has to look good. A powerful message targeted to the right audience, nice visuals, preferably something memorable.

Yet, I have found that so many organizations neglect a potentially significant marketing tool, even though they all have them. I am talking about business cards.

Business cards are a representation of who we are and what our business is. Unfortunately, 99% of them are completely forgettable. We collect a stack of business cards at networking events, and go through them afterwards (unless they get tossed into a desk drawer and are lost to the ages), and they all look alike. Same size, same weight, same everything.

Although there is enough material on this topic to write a book (which I am), I wanted to point out 3 critical errors most people make with business cards.

#1 – One card for all occasions

A marketing piece should target a specific audience, and should specifically address the needs and wants of that audience. Unless your business only has one type of customer, then you are under-utilizing this tool if you have one generic business card. And with how inexpensive business cards have become, there is really no reason not to have multiple types of cards. As an entertainer, I have 4 different business cards. One is for the corporate market, one is for children’s entertainment, one is for festivals and events, and the other is a generic card for use when a potential client does not fall into any of those previous categories. Each card addresses the needs for that particular type of client, and how I can fulfill those needs.

#2 – 50% of the space is wasted

A business card has 2 sides, yet I only see printing on both sides of maybe 30% of the business cards I receive from others. If you were printing a brochure, would you only put content on one side? The other side can have other important information, like a special offer, a call to action, or some kind of useful information that could be a reason for someone to actually KEEP the business card.

#3 – No product pictures

You wouldn’t put out a product brochure without showing your product, would you? I know, some may argue that they are a service provider, so there is not a physical product to show. WRONG! A picture is even more important to a service provider, because the product is YOU! A picture of you makes you a person, not a faceless entity. And if the client identifies with you as a person instead of just a company, then you can build a relationship with that client. And relationships are what lead to referrals and testimonials. So, if you are a mortgage broker or an insurance agent or some other service provider that represents a large company without a face, then it is absolutely VITAL that your picture be on your card.

As I mentioned earlier, there is much more to be said on this subject. But I figured I would provide a few key tips that readers may find helpful.

Good luck to you, and here is to your success!

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.

1 Comment

Filed under Marketing Advice