Monday, January 12, 2009

Small Businesses Concerned with Economy...

For some reason, this article really brought home today's economic reality. The article presents results of a recent survey of small businesses. Essentially, it talks about how concerned small businesses are with the state of the economy. It reiterates how the economy has had a huge impact on this sector, in particular.
The survey found that 66.4% of small business owners have been affected for
the worse by the recession -- and that a full 80% see the economic crisis as the
primary mandate for the new government.

Small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy representing 99.7% of all employer firms, and generating 60 to 80% of new jobs annually over the past decade, according to the Small Business Administration.

Perhaps this news, in particular, resonates because my small business has also been negatively impacted by these trying times. RRW has a focus on providing direct marketing solutions to financial services firms--an industry definitely hit hard by this economy. Our business has suffered.

You know what? I'm mad. I'm sad that I lost a business partner and feel for some clients who've either had their marketing budgets cut dramatically, have laid off a good portion of their staff, or (in the extreme) have gone out of business entirely.

Yet, I cannot even imagine thinking that someone out there will magically appear and throw money at RRW. As much as I'd like to, I cannot think that there my fairy godmother will show up with her magic wand and a purse full of clients with huge budgets.

So, hearing about huge companies looking for their fairy godmother in the form of our tax money simply irks me.

OK, I'll get off of my soap box and start the day. I'll get back to work and come up with a value proposition, a direct marketing idea that one of my smart clients will pay for. Isn't that the way this country works?


Ted Grigg said...

I feel your pain Suzanne. Working from project to project is no way to live anyway. And this environment really hurts some industries more than others.

I ran into this problem for a different reason in 1988 after working as a freelance direct marketer for about 7 years specializing in the managed care arena.

The business specialized in HMO and PPO marketing working with Medicare, individual health and B2B group product lead generation. Over time, this included about 60 such organizations before things went sour.

It all ended when the government passed the Gramm-Rudman Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 that forced contracted health care organizations to retroactively refund millions of dollars to the Federal government.

Congress was trying to find money. So they passed a law ordering companies to return money that health care companies had earned while under a government contract.

How is this possible? Government contracts include a simple line that requires contractors to follow the laws of congress!!!

So health care companies from right to left decided to drop marketing budgets dramatically and not renew government contracts. The government was deemed an unreliable partner by many health care companies at the time.

This nearly killed my business.

So I decided then and there NOT to specialize by industry. For me, it was too risky and limited my field of vision for the things I wanted to do for clients.

Nancy said...

Amen! I totally agree -- and as your business partner, I too am irked.

However, (remember, I'm the PollyAnna arm), I do believe that the clients will come eventually. And, as we've discussed ( to Ted's point), diversification is key.

All we have to do is to continue to come up with our big ideas. These economic times can wreak havoc on that process for sure. But the optimist in me says that it'll happen!

You GO DM Queen!

Alexander said...

Great post very interesting