For most businesses the economy, well, sucks.  But that’s not all bad.  Certainly not for marketing consultants.  🙂

In fact, there are three good things that normally accompany slowdowns: it shows us our weaknesses and forces us to get better; it gives us the time to fix things; and it thins the herd.

Our Weaknesses

You’ve heard to old saying “A rising tide floats all boats.”  Good times makes the job of growing a company easier.  It hides weaknesses.  Maybe, for example, your price is a bit high or your message is a bit muddled (you sound like everybody else) or your costs are too high.  But as your customers grow and their need for what you sell goes up, your sales go up.  Maybe not as much as your better-priced competitors or companies with a sharper message, but your sales go up regardless.

Then things slow down and who’s the first to feel it?  Yep, the muddled message and price-not-in-line-with-the-value and costs-too-high companies.  When things slow down it forces us to face our weaknesses and fix them.

Our Time

At the risk of sounding like an incurable look-on-the-bright-side guy (I’m not), when things slow down it does give us the time to work on our business.  Jason Calacanis, a very smart, very rich tech guy, said going into this economy the thing to do is work on your business.  And I agree.  And, unlike the times when you don’t have time to work on your business because you’re working in your business, the slow times create an opportunity.  Fix your website, get more training, finally do all those things that nagged at you when you were too busy to get to them.

The Herd

Yes, the herd thins.  Fewer restaurants, printers, consultants, etc.  The weak fall by the wayside.

One of the things I’m saying more and more these days is: it is what it is.  Let’s all accept this economy and get to work on improving our businesses.