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When it slows down, turn it up

Charles Moses

An economics professor I had at the University of Nevada, Reno, addressed his class the first day with the statement, “The answer is always no if you don’t ask.” This statement is something that rings true to business during a slow economy. If thou shalt not ask, thou will surely not receive. In other words, if you cut marketing this quarter, you can totally forget increasing your business for the year.

Many business owners in Reno/Sparks are worried that the present market conditions have created a vacuum on their dollar for which they can’t invest, because the return isn’t there. Well I’ve got news folks, money is cheap these days. If an investment is to be made, now is the time to make a purchase since its seemingly low value can only increase. In a down economy, your marketing should be looked at as the strategic investment that will increase your bottom line over time.

During these scary economic times, look fear right in its big, red ugly eye and consider seriously your strategic growth objectives.

To successfully accomplish your long-term goals and stay in business for the short term, you simply must let people know you’re alive and well doing business. Are you not marketing because you don’t know how, or are you just feeling crappy because things are slow right now? It seems that businesses are cutting their marketing and advertising dollars almost entirely in half because we are on a “down” cycle right now. The Achilles tendon of the local service economy is that even when business is good here, things will continually lag if the companies fail to get into their public’s eye.

In Reno, the word “strategic” has gone to the wayside, and is being replaced by “stagnant.” Since businesses and individuals believe in word-of-mouth advertising, and who-you-know networks, this will ultimately keep the Greater Reno Tahoe brand a bad place for businesses to relocate and move. Young technology oriented businesses, some of which have moved to Reno, are doing well in a bad economy because they innovate in the face of traditional business. They will look right past Reno because we lack progressivism, entrepreneurship, and savvy marketing. This beautiful, sunny place we live in has plenty of great potential for a vibrant business market if the players already here would follow this example and see what’s working.

What’s the answer for Greater Reno Tahoe? None other than business marketing dollars should be increased during a slow economy because more than ever, it is the time when business needs to be recognized most. Speak about how your business is doing well. Tell your story about why you do business in the first place. What difference are you trying to make in your field of expertise? How are you going to do that if you don’t position yourselves as strong and use words such as “growth” and “opportunity?” When you tell inquiring salespeople that you’re slow and hurting, don’t discount the fact that they are also

involved and active members of the local economy, and your negativity and gruffness will echo itself.

Spring came early, the sun is shining, and taxes are over with. Now is the time to bite off on capital investment marketing when it’s very affordable, and when your phones aren’t ringing.

Don’t sit around this spring and mope and snap at salespeople who call you with great marketing opportunities and ideas. They are slow too, and just want to talk and make something happen.

Consider a positive attitude, and listen to what they have to say. After all, that voice on the phone is another business reaching

out to you!

Charles Moses handles business development for Reno-based Image Base Inter-national. Contact him at (775) 786-1126.