How To Generate New Business Opportunities During A Financial Meltdown

By on August 1, 2012
In a less-than-stable economy, the tendency to think only in terms of cost-cutting opportunities, while understandable, may be shortsighted, or worse, counterproductive. Tough times can actually provide small businesses with growth opportunities.

Why? Because it is precisely these times when most companies (large and small), as well as individuals, look for new, different and potentially less expensive ways to conduct their business.

Much like Wall Street brokers see downturns as a chance to buy, small businesses must also recognize the opportunity to generate new leads during these tough times. And more importantly, they must take advantage of it.

How? Traditional advertising and marketing have their place, but more and more studies are showing the incredible impact of online efforts.

* According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. And yet, small businesses that advertise online fare better overall.

* And contrary to the common perception that every small business needs an ad in the local Yellow Pages, surveys show that newspaper and print Yellow Pages are on their way out – Yellow Page sales are expected to drop 10 percent this year. (Kelsey Group data)

* What’s more, a recent Nielsen study shows that 74 percent of people now use major Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo! to find local businesses.

So, with millions of potential customers now searching the internet for local services (salons, dentists, cleaning companies, etc.) every day, small business owners can no longer afford to skip these online alternatives.

One group of firms – online lead generators – provide full-service, turnkey solutions that connect small businesses directly to the folks searching for them. Moreover, these firms offer real, measurable results for reasonable rates.

How do they work?

By putting commonly used search engines to work to drive traffic toward custom-built small business sites, online lead generators turn clicks into calls – and as a result, companies’ phones are kept ringing with new inquiries, even during tough economic times.

It’s time small businesses take advantage of the web-based opportunities that lie before them. Traditional sources of advertising like print and radio have their place, but are extremely difficult to measure in terms of effectiveness. And in these times, it’s especially important that businesses can rest assured that they are getting a good return on their investment.

As David Ogilvy, the “father of advertising” famously once said, “Half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half.”

When times get tight, small business owners want to know what their return on investment is for every penny – which means vague advertising ROI metrics no longer cut it. With online lead generation, advertising results are more transparent than ever, and everything – yes everything – becomes measurable.

Online lead generators have developed techniques to measure exactly how many clicks, calls and emails are generated from a single ad. This gives you confidence that you’ll have the information you need to determine whether your online efforts are successful – and change your approach if they are not.

About Court: As CEO of Yodle, Court oversees all aspects of operations and strategy, including technology, product development and sales and marketing. Prior to joining Yodle, he held the position of COO at Community Connect, a niche social networking company, where he lead consumer marketing, product management and development efforts. Before that, as SVP/GM of the Marketing Automation group at DoubleClick, he was instrumental in establishing DARTmail as the industry leading email marketing solution. 

Court received a BA in English from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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