You survived the Great Recession of ‘09

Now what?

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” my grandfather used to say. (Note to self: OMG, I’ve started quoting my grandfather.)

He was right, of course.

According to economist Sherry Cooper, small businesses are benefiting from newfound confidence as they learn lessons from the downturn and focus on the future. They’re more prudent and conservative, but also more self-reliant, understanding the temptation of venture capital or building too fast can often be too good to be true. Small businesses left standing after the Great Recession have learned how to cut costs, increase productivity and focus on strategic growth opportunities – not just because it was good business, but because they had no choice.

Welcome to the rest of your business life.

So you’ve survived. You’re wiser than before. But probably pretty strapped for cash too. (Gramps didn’t have a clever saying for this part.) So what sorts of smart, inexpensive opportunities can you start taking advantage of while times are still a bit lean? Joanna L. Krotz and Elizabeth Walker at Microsoft Canada have tons of great marketing ideas to consider.  Here are a few:

Make every customer feel special. Always add something to the purchase, whether it’s a hand-written note to a consumer or a recommendation on the latest greatest business book to a business customer.

  1. Create business cards that prospects keep. How about a good-looking notepad with your contact info and tagline on every page? Or a free or low-cost trial offer on the back, real estate that’s valuable and often wasted.

  2. Combine business with pleasure – and charity. Spearhead an event, party or conference for a cause you care about. That puts you in the position of getting to know lots of people and shows off your small business leadership skills.

  3. Quickly stand out by occasionally sending personal … letters to customers and prospects too. Just make sure the letter delivers something customers want to read.

Got survival stories of your own? Discovering new opportunities in this post-recession economy?

By Adam

November 16, 2009