Best of Times, Worst of Times for Small Business

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”
~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

We’re now living in a time period which may end up being the most challenging economic period of a generation, yet at the same time, the most opportune and abundant time in the history of the world.

It Was The Worst Of Times

First, let’s talk about the gloomy stuff…I know we all hear it all the time.  Turn on the TV, surf the web, listen to the radio…gloom and doom talk about the economy, the job market, unemployment, political corruption, war, etc.

It’s hammered into our head, day-in and day-out, and unconsciously, we absorb and retain this thinking.  This leads to increased stress rates, anxiety and all the mental and physical ailments that come with it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we live in easy times and that this bad news is contrived while things are all cheery.

Rather, while things are a-changin’, it’s not all darkness…as a matter of fact, there’s a whole lot of opportunity right in front of your eyes.

It Was The Best Of Times

All that being said, interestingly enough, we live in the most advanced, abundant, and rich period in the history of mankind.

Through the incredible advancement of technology, we have virtually instantaneous access to information, goods, friends, family…you name it, you can get it on demand.

And if you can’t, watch out!…someone’s going to be pissed, since we simply cannot wrap our heads around the idea of waiting for something in this age of instant reward and gratification.

In business, this translates to being able to research, pinpoint and survey your market and competition before even opening up shop.  Read the last sentence again… We can actually gather ALL of this crucial intelligence BEFORE even creating your product, service, etc.

It Was The Age Of Foolishness

The knee jerk reaction for many businesses — small, medium and large, alike — is to cut sales and marketing during rough times.

If you think about that, it’s actually pretty illogical… “Eh, the market is slow, business is slow, let’s be less aggressive in selling our products and services.” Seriously?

It Was The Age Of Wisdom

Entrepreneurs and Business Owners: You’re the innovators in our society.  Challenging times are the time for innovation, ideas, out of the box thinking.

So…let’s work smarter.  Let’s leverage the incredible communication tools that are in front of us today, such as real-time conversation and trend reports.  Let’s make appropriate cuts where there are inefficiencies — Newspaper advertising and Yellow Page ads tend to be expensive, and are your best prospects really looking for you there?

If not, it’s time to move on.  The world of New Media is much brighter than dying print mediums, and even better, they’re much cheaper to utilize!

If you’re a small business owner, the Dickens quote sums up the current climate facing your situation today.  The question is, which city will you choose…it is your choice.

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