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/|
|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|