I'll make this short and sweet-- Times are tough, there's no doubt about it. The last time I checked, small businesses were not receiving large lump sums from the government to save their butts...at least, not yet.
And so, when most small businesses are trying to figure out how to make payroll, let alone worry about advertising (although I HAVE received at least 5 emails from advertising agencies giving me the whole "advertising during a recession is a NECESSITY shpiel) their business, I wanted to remind you of two things that you can do TODAY to help your business.
ESTABLISH A STRONG CORPORATE CULTURE.
STOP ADVERTISING. START HAVING CONVERSATIONS.
We are at the Womma Summit today, and keynote Tony Hseih from Zappos spoke about how their #1 priority is developing a strong corporate culture. He was amazing and inspiring, and reminded us what we are in this business for.
Hire the right people. Fire the wrong people. When you have the right people, with the right culture, the business will grow. Get online, get feedback from your customers. LISTEN. During this time, it's too risky to shout your message out amidst a massive influx of ad messages...especially when there are people who are already in interactive conversations with brands.