Almost everyone in this country has been affected in some way by the bad economy we have been experiencing since the end of 2008. As a result, businesses throughout the U.S have had their revenue reduced by 10%, 25%, 50%, or even more. Many businesses have failed and closed their doors. Many economists say that this is the worst economic downturn since the great depression in the 1930s. Many of them also say that they don’t expect any significant recovery any time soon.
Even in bad economic times there are certain essentials that we all need such as food and gas. As I write this, the least expensive gasoline price I’ve been able to find in the city of Salem, Oregon where I live is $4.18. I’ve also found that food prices have increased significantly over the past year or two. As businesses are negatively impacted it seems that many of them increase their prices in order to recoup some of that loss of revenue. I’m not sure if it’s a necessity for them to stay open or if they are just taking advantage of the fact that people must buy their products regardless of the economy. Whatever the reason, it can be very frustrating for consumers and working people who are just trying to keep their heads above water.
So, what’s my point? Well…I have two main points I want to make.
First, for businesses to stay afloat, they need to grow, or at least retain, their current customer base. This means that there are certain areas of expenditure that cannot be reduced very much without resulting in a negative impact on their bottom line. Most businesses are cutting back on certain things like inventory, employee benefits and, of course, non-essential “extras.” Many times, advertising budgets are be cut drastically. This is understandable but it can be a two-edged sword.
As we all know, advertising is what brings in new business. The right kind of advertising can significantly increase business. That is why good advertising is not inexpensive. I believe that continuing, and even expanding, advertising is the thing that will keep a company going during times of bad economy. So, the question is, where should advertising dollars be allocated? How can you get the most exposure for each dollar spent. I’ve found that the web is becoming more and more essential in allowing customers to find you and the products or services you offer. A decreasing number of consumers still use yellow pages to find what they need. Most people now use the web to search for what they need. If you are a business who has used yellow pages advertising, you have probably noticed that it is very expensive. I have a friend who owns a plumbing company here in Salem and he spends close to $20,000 per year in yellow pages ads alone. He does not have a website and so is not found for those who search for plumbers online.
My point is this. Online presence is VERY important regardless of what the economy is like. A strong web presence can be very expensive and many web companies are increasing their prices to make up for loss of revenue. But…web presence doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, there are very skilled and experienced web & graphic design companies out there who’s prices are much less than the cost of yellow pages ads. In many cases, yellow pages, or other types of advertising costs can be reallocated elsewhere. This leads me to my second point.
We at Borderland Graphic Design have been impacted by the bad economy as well. However, we WILL NOT, and HAVE NOT increased our prices or reduced our services offered in order to make up for the reduced revenue. In many cases, we have offered our clients discounted prices in an effort to get them on the web. We sincerely believe that helping small to medium sized businesses develop an effective web presence is the best way to build our customer base and our reputation as a fair and ethical company. We want you to succeed because we believe in maintaining the U.S. as the land of opportunity and we want to see businesses thrive. Honestly, the reason we want you to thrive is because, when you succeed, we succeed.
We always offer a no-cost analysis of your business and how you can benefit from a strong web presence and we will give you our recommendations for achieving that visibility. We will do everything we possibly can to give you what you need within your budget. We will help you to determine how your advertising dollars might be best spent to keep your business going…and growing.
As small and medium sized businesses, we can make it through this economic struggle by working together. You help us, we help you. Let’s work as a team.
Rick Debnam / Owner, Designer