The Big Number

I don’t know how it happened or even why it happened, but Biz-comm receives a monthly magazine called Fortune Small Business. I thought perhaps it was because we had an American Express corporate card, but it appears the magazine is an outtake from CNN and its parent. Time, Inc. I’m not complaining mind you. It’s always full of meaningful and thoughtful articles written and edited in an easy to read journalistic style. I like it . . . I recommend it.

September’s issue arrived on the mountain a day or two ago, and as I’ve come to expect, has a plethora of articles that are a joy to read with takeaway messages that either invigorate my mind, or at least leave me with a smile on my face. While waiting for my second pot of coffee to brew I pick it up and browsed betwixt its covers to find many numbers, mostly percentages surrounding how small business owners thinks this about that. Since this blog is written by and for small business owners, I thought, like Chris Matthews, I’d convey some of these treasures gleaned from the most recent issue as my “Big Number.” Enjoy . . .

  • The Zogby Poll says 75% of Americans don’t believe CEOs and CFOs give a true picture of their company’s financial outlook.
  • Nearly half of American businesses are home-based, but NFIB says only about 46% of them take a home office tax credit.
  • The Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City think tank that covers all things entrepreneurial, says the typical first time American entrepreneur is 40 years old, 70% are married, and nearly 60% have at least one child.
  • More than half the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during an economic downturn.
  • 75% of small business owners think profanity in the workplace is offensive and unprofessional, while 40% of small business owners admit to using foul language from time to time.
  • Symantec says 90% of all email is spam.
  • 10% of small business owners are considering cutting out health care coverage next year.

Make what you may of these numbers. I’m thrilled there are so many people out there willing to take time to compile, digest, and distribute them. What does this have to do with marketing you ask? I can’t put my finger on it at the moment, but I recently read companies that continue to market hard during a downturn come back stronger and more profitable when the downturn ends. How’s your marketing budget?

Times are tough, but . . .

Of course times are tough, but here’s an idea worth its salt.

For companies marketing to consumers, when John & Suzy Whiskbroom tell you money’s too tight right now, maybe later when the economy picks up they’ll call you . But when the economy does get better the Whiskbrooms will have forgotten your name. I suggest . . .

Treat the opportunity like eating an elephant . . . one mouthful at a time. Help Mr. and Mrs. Whiskbroom break their dreams into manageable chunks that can be completed over a long period.  That way they get what they want, and you get what you want. Everyone’s a clear winner.

2009 Recovery Act: SBA ARC Loan Program

If your small business is stressed meeting expenses during these economic times, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a new loan program designed just for you.

SBA’s America’s Recovery Capital Loan Program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability.  Each small business is limited to one ARC loan.

Read more