I'm struck time and time again by the fact that nearly all marketing books and advice assume you have many tens of thousands to spend on marketing.
If you're just getting a business started, or have a struggling part-time business you want to take to the next level, that isn't always an option.
Of course well-funded startups with a few million dollars, it's a different story.
But for most people with a dream, talent, an idea and determination, some time - and little cash - it reminds me of the old advice about how to make a million dollars. "First, take a million dollars."
THIS is where most businesses falter. They never make it because they never get successful marketing going.
In trying times, many past successful businesses fail. They depended on word of mouth or the One Big Client. Or they had some kind of advertising that was working well enough for a booming economy.
They are in that same situation. Market or Die.
Is it hopeless? Far from it. But there are approaches doomed to failure:
1. "Hunker down and hope to ride it out." Cut back on expenses and pray the economy will upturn before you run out of money and credit.
2. "A lick and a promise." Decide to do something about it, but don't do the homework and often hard work necessary to develop a winning campaign, one that will work fast enough and on a budget you can manage.
These are shark infested waters. There are a zillion sharp dealers out there ready to promise the world, who sound great and will be happy to take your money. Likewise everyone has a brother-in-law or a friend of a friend who can build you a website for $300.
You CAN make it. You CAN get a successful marketing program going, one you can ride on up to prosperity and a cushy retirement. Just don't count on it being easy.