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Bathroom Blogfest: Climbing out – a very personal take

It must be October because Bathroom Blogfest is back and this year with the topic “Climbing Out”. I assume I could be writing about various ways of getting out of a bathtub but, I’ll take the bait, and jump in on the deep end with some thoughts and comments on the lingering economic “meh” we find ourselves in. Please be so kind as to visit a few of the other blogs listed at the end of this post as well.

“Oh oh oh economic woe”, I suppose even the whiniest among us have by now figured out that all the blaming and finger pointing and, worst of all, sitting and waiting for someone to do something to make it all better again, is for naught. A recession or economic slow down can’t be argued or explained away as history has shown. It either requires a monumental and sadly often tragic event for a country to get it’s act back together or, and this is the far less violent option, it requires a willingness to overcome. To overcome the things that are holding us down; gravity as in the case of old Munchhausen here or hesitation, lack of confidence and even fear, still so prevalent in our industry, starting with manufacturers all the way to the consumer. Easier said than done? Maybe. Maybe not. Please know that I in no way claim to be an economist or particularly knowledgeable of politics, although I’m beginning to think that maybe our politicians and economists aren’t either. So here, in all due humility and only because the folks at Bathroom Blogfest brought up the topic, three things that can make a difference.

  • Make it smaller. Keep your monthly operating costs low by systematically reviewing expenses. Some things may be cut altogether, others can be re-assigned, others still can be replaced through more efficient and educated use of technology. And yes operating costs also means energy costs, no matter where you stand on global warming, chances are we’re all on the same page when it comes to global saving, right?
  • Be open to new ideas in marketing. This isn’t business as usual, in fact, business as usual likely won’t be back as we once knew it, so allow some fresh ideas into marketing, public relations and so on. Consider adding a social media campaign to your marketing plan, work with bloggers or become a blogger. I know hundreds of designers who’ve changed tack, added a blog and have not only created way more visibility for their work but in some cases shifted their whole business model. There are new social apps sprouting up every day, not all will make it, but if you haven’t yet get yourself on Twitter, add some visual oomph with a few Pinterest boards and even revisit the social aspect LinkedIn. Global or national marketing is still important but don’t forget local and personal engagement. That’s right, back to one-on-one relationships. Word of mouth is important for any business, no matter it’s size and the best source for word of mouth is someone with whom you have an established relationship. Some things you just can’t pay for. Yay!
  • Have a vision. Take a minute, or a weekend or a week to step back and think about why you started your business in the first place. Passion for design, boundless creativity, artistic talent, the desire to create things that would make life for others more pleasant, inspired, healthier, efficient, productive. You get the idea. Excitement and passion are what sell at the end of the day, so don’t hold back. Design and create like you mean it, make your customers fall in love with your brand and in lust with your products. Think of it as rekindling a love affair, light the candles and and slip on that sexy negligé that you bought a while back for “just the right moment”. Well, that moment is now.

Imagine this. Some money saved in running a slightly tighter ship and some money made by using a fresh approach in sharing your message with the world and turning heads with some fabulous new designs, That means what? Oh yes, more profit for you. And that means you will be more confident and confidence is contagious, especially when a whole industry starts doing it.

So why not let Wall Street and the other “portly felines” (I read that one somewhere and been meaning to use it) discover for themselves that in the end they will need a sound economy and public in order to thrive without needing another bailout while we  focus on what we can make happen for ourselves and our businesses. Right here, right now.

Name Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott Customer Experience Crossroads http://www.customercrossroads.com/customercrossroads/
Paul Anater Kitchen and Residential Design http://www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com
Shannon Bilby From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com/
Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/bloomberg_marketing/
Laurence Borel Blog Till You Drop http://www.laurenceborel.com/
Bill Buyok Avente Tile Talk http://tiletalk.blogspot.com
Jeanne Byington The Importance of Earnest Service http://blog.jmbyington.com/
Becky Carroll Customers Rock! http://customersrock.net
Katie Clark Practical Katie http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/
Nora DePalma O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog http://www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog/
Paul Friederichsen The BrandBiz Blog http://brandbizblog.com/
Tish Grier The Constant Observer http://spap-oop.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Hise Flooring The Consumer http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com
Emily Hooper Floor Covering News Blog http://www.fcnews.net/category/blog/
Diane Kazan Urban Design Renovation http://blog.urbandesignrenovation.com
Joseph Michelli Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog http://www.josephmichelli.com/blog
Veronika Miller Modenus Blog http://www.modenus.com/blog
Arpi Nalbandian Tile Magazine Editors’ Blog http://www.tilemagonline.com/Articles/Blog_Nalbandian
David Polinchock Polinchock’s Ponderings http://blog.polinchock.com/
Professor Toilet American Standard’s Professor Toilet http://www.professortoilet.com
David Reich my 2 cents http://reichcomm.typepad.com
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond Scarlet Opus Trends Blog http://www.trendsblog.co.uk
Sandy Renshaw Purple Wren http://www.PurpleWren.com
Bethany Richmond Carpet and Rug Institute Blog http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com/
Bruce D. Sanders RIMtailing http://www.rimtailing.blogspot.com
Paige Smith Neuse Tile Service blog http://neusetile.wordpress.com/
Stephanie Weaver Experienceology http://experienceology.blogspot.com/
Christine B. Whittemore Content Talks Business Blog http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/
Christine B. Whittemore Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog http://smokerise-nj.blogspot.com/
Christine B. Whittemore Simple Marketing Blog http://www.simplemarketingblog.com/
Ted Whittemore Working Computers http://www.kinneloncomputers.com/
Chris Woelfel Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile
Patty Woodland Broken Teepee http://www.brokenteepee.com/
Denise Lee Yohn brand as business bites http://deniseleeyohn.com/best-bites
  • http://twitter.com/blogtillyoudrop Laurence Borel

    Very sound advice fellow blogfester! This isn’t business as usual – try something different!  I like it 

  • Anonymous

    How can you go wrong with ‘portly felines’? Love it! Thanks Veronika for sharing wisdom and sound advice. Thank you for being part of Bathroom Blogfest and inspiring us to ‘climb out’.


  • http://twitter.com/noradepalma Nora DePalma

    Say it, sister! That’s how we keep going. We can rail at the “portly felines” or we can just work our way around them.


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