Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catch ye breath while ye can

March 1 is coming. That to me is really when our season kicks into high gear. With a little luck, hard work and creative advertising the phone will start ringing more often, the website will see more traffic and the mail will bring orders.

But this year?? How can anyone predict what is going to happen this season. It's not a normal year for anyone out there; not just us. So I tentatively put my forecasts down in MS Excel and now I sit back - and don't wait.

The worst thing to do at anytime is sit around and wait for business to come to you. Instead you have to go get it. After all it's called marketing not entitlement. But how do you do that after two years of weirdness and your finances are stretched thin.

I thank my lucky stars part of my upbringing was about finding a way to make things happen. My Mother says I am the eternal optimist and I take after her late little brother, my Oom Lex. Oom is Dutch for Uncle by the way. I also know she says this with affection as she was very fond of him; as was I. He loved thinking outside of the box. Me, I don't think I ever got in the box in the first place.

The Internet is literally handing small businesses like us incredible ways of reaching people without burning through a lot of cash. Even when I started Ashdown some eight years ago an ad in a decent magazine ran upwards of $1500 and reached maybe 100,000 people who forgot about it two months later. We now have a page on Facebook that costs nothing and could potentially reach 175 million. Well it doesn't cost nothing. Just my time and hey, that's free as far as I'm concerned.

Forums, Blogs, Facebook pages; this list goes on and there reaches a point where you have to focus on what you can (sorry Twitter) but all together these things bring folks to our little nursery and they begin to add up.

What prompted this thought was watching President Obama's speech last night to Congress. While he has programs to jump start the economy he also let us know there is no such thing as a free lunch. We have to do our part too. So off to Facebook to update our free page.

Are you listening Wall Street?

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