Adversity or Opportunity? You Decide

By Mash Bonigala

Over the past few years, we have seen a trend that is astounding to many small businesses. With the economy as low as it has been in modern memory and customers inching every penny, it seemed odd to many people to witness the increased expenditures on branding, logo design, and other marketing elements on the part of large businesses. Why were these giants, with leagues of consultants, spending so much on a nonessential expense when they needed to pull in their budget? What do they know that we don’t?

One thing that the large corporations know that many small business owners don’t is that hard economic times can be a challenge, or they can be an opportunity. It’s your time to whine or to shine. Will you watch your business struggle or will you take the necessary steps to promote it and to garner success?

There are a few ways that a broken economy can mean success for a small business. First, good deals abound. Suppliers don’t want to lose customers any more than you do, so you may find it very easy to cut back on those types of expenses. There is an increased pool of potential employees due to higher unemployment, so you can attract better talent for the same wages. Last, your competitors are struggling as well, and if they are not as well prepared as you, you will soon see a smaller amount of competition.

With all of these things going in your favor, all that is left in order to achieve success is to attract new customers and keep your old ones. This is where marketing and logo design come into play. As we mentioned earlier, you have likely noticed that the large national or global corporations are increasing their marketing efforts. This is not limited to the big guys! You should be talking to a marketing consultant and a graphic designer as well to see how you can hone your own brand for maximum success.

“Too big to fail” is an oxymoron. The largest corporations may have further to fall, but they can fall all the same. While we saw many large corporations hold out their paws for government assistance (a controversial topic we won’t get into), there are so many more that kept their head down and succeeded through more traditional means: hard work, increased productivity, sacrifices all around, and, yes, an increased focus on marketing and branding. There are very few, if any, handouts for small businesses, so how you emerge from the recession will be completely up to you. Will these few years be times of opportunity or times of adversity for you? Only you can make that decision.

There has never been a better time to rebrand, especially if you are overdue for it. With new, streamlined practices, lower overhead, and a brand that attracts more of the right customer, you will emerge from this short economic downturn stronger and more able to face the future. Every small business faces these times; it’s how you handle them that makes all the difference.