Dec 16, 2008

Wars are not won by evacuations

I love this - Winston Churchill said it. He also said, "Never, never, never give up!".

I see lots of evacuations going on in the scrapbook industry right now. Some are necessary because, I assume, the war is un-winnable for that business. But, I fear many are just taking their scissors and going home because they think it will never get better.

Earlier this week at ScrapBiz, one of our members posted a great article from her local paper about busting the recession. One of the great points was that while everyone else is pulling back, it's a good time to surge forward with your marketing activities. That doesn't mean you have to go crazy, but it means you need to step it up.

BECAUSE, if you can even hold steady and, with luck, increase your market share even slightly during the tough times, everyone else will have to play "catch up" to you when things get better. You'll have some momentum (and new customers) to work with while others are trying to re-start their engines.

If you've felt like a little fish in a big pond, now can be your time to be the big fish. For instance, many magazines are slashing their ad rates because there are fewer subscribers and fewer advertisers. Now might be a good time to invest in an ad. The subscribers still hanging around are going to be the ones who have money to spend AND are hard-core scrappers. You're going to get greater bang for your buck.

Now is also a great time to slash your expenses to the bare minimum. Focus your funds on activities that create revenue and slash the ones that don't. For instance, going to a trade show may be a good thing, but taking another employee with you may not. Don't skip it just because you don't want to go alone. It may be necessary for your business to be there. It's okay to go by yourself - I often do. If you don't want to be lonely, then join ScrapBiz before you go and you can come to our dinner, meet other members and not feel alone at the show.

Look at attending PSRO - there are going to be some FANTASTIC classes there that will help you be a better, more savvy business owner. One of the challenges of our industry is that it's changed over the last few years and we didn't pay a lot of attention to the shift. We were experiencing some issues before the economy did. Learn about the changes and how to tackle them at PSRO and discover new products and services at PMA to reflect the recent photo-centric shift of the scrapbook industry. Due to the economy, hotels in Las Vegas have slashed their prices for PMA - I've never seen that done. Usually prices shoot way up during a large trade show. Expect air fare to drop also. That makes the show an even greater value!

Another way to add to your revenue stream without a lot of cash is to sign up for PhotoBookBiz. It's just $49 to sign up! All you need to do is add the unique Rocket Life platform link to your current website and you've just increased your potential revenues without having to buy or stock any additional inventory! When customers make photo books or photo products at your site, you make money! It's simple and easy for you.

So, don't evacuate, keep fighting! You might have to change strategies or attack from a different front, but fight on if you can! Scrapbooking and memory preservation are not just frivolous hobbies. They are meaningful hobbies that most people will continue on with despite the economy. Be there for them!

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