Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This is Your Time

The other day, I had someone approach me and ask if we had any openings but she didn't want to do sales. Further in the conversation, I asked her what she was doing, she said looking for a job. "How long have you been unemployed?", I asked. 9 months was her answer.

The day before, I was at a seminar and sat next to a man who was also unemployed for nearly a year.

I can sympathize, however I am also shaking my head. There is no reason to be without a job if you are physically able to work. There are enough companies looking for good workers that will pay you to get off the couch and work.

The time to look for your dream job is not when you have no income. When you need a job, you get a job. Not a career perhaps, but at least a job. And once you have a job, you can start looking for a better job.

What does this have to do with advertising and marketing? Simple lesson. Just like the unemployed need to adapt to their current situation and do what it takes to earn money, so do businesses.

Now is not the time to cut back on advertising, hide and wait this one out. Pulling the covers over your head in this economy will only put you out of business. Instead, I'll let you in on a secret.

Now is a great time to get a good deal on your advertising. Many companies are cutting back. This means media and advertising outlets have more unsold inventory than they had a few years ago. And the smart ones would rather sell out their inventory at a lower rate than let it go unsold.

Now not everyone in the media and advertising business is going to follow this law of supply and demand. They will be stubborn and try and raise their prices and if they are doing this to you, beware, because they are looking out for their interests, not yours.

See, if I have more unsold inventory on my radio stations, then I have room to help some smaller business that need to get the word out to potential customers, and I will do it at a lower price per ad than a couple years ago, until my inventory gets tight again.

So Mr/Ms Business owner, this is your time:

  • Time to buy advertising that you couldn't afford before.
  • Time to negotiate with your current suppliers and get the best price
  • Time to grow while your competitors hide under the blankets.
Your comments are always welcome.


  1. God bless you! Of course there are jobs out there for everyone who really needs a job! As long as you are not snobish and want to work, I mean really want to work! Sorry guys, not all of us will be managing directors in multinational companies! You have to start low...
    Also, this crisis can be an oportunity for some clever business people to become even stronger and can clear up the market from all the frawds out there!
    So, let's all role up our sleeves and instead of crying over spilt milk, let's get moving to make things better!

  2. It's nice to see that in this society's surge of progressivism, stone-cold libertarian rhetoric is not dead and gone.

  3. I realize that the answer to the question, I need money; then get a job, is pretty simplistic. But I also don't understand why there are homeless people living in Chicago, when there are better conditions (warmer) to be homeless in Florida.

    But the real point of this is do what you need to now, and your business can survive now and thrive when times get better!

  4. What do you expect them to do? Walk from Chicago to Florida? I have a steady job, and I can't afford a plane/bus/train ticket to FL, so I can't imagine a homeless person could.

    The other thing would be that, well, living homeless does require a certain level of knowledge about a city. If you were born and raised in Chicago, you would know a layout of the streets, local businesses, hang-outs, etc. Relocating to a strange city would almost be signing a death certificate for yourself.

    There may still be hobos, Roger Miller-style, with the mulligan stew and the boxcar-jumping, who head north for the summer and south for the winter. I wonder if CANI or the Fort Wayne Mission has any statistics on homeless winter migration.

  5. Andy, before I read your last note, I was on the phone with a client of mine that is a home builder. Not a good occupation to be in at the moment. Especially when you have 5 kids and a wife and you are deeply in debt due to the downturn. Yet I have been able to help him renegotiate with his creditors to keep the wolves at bay, while revamping his business plan so he has income from leasing instead of selling his properties, at the prices that people want to pay.

    The only thing holding him back is the weather so he can break ground and build more. In the meantime, he is lining up investors to provide the money and lines of credit needed. This is just one example of adapting that business need to do.

    Now regarding the homeless issue...
    I have relatives that have decided to be homeless due to their addictions and rejecting help that was offered to them. When they need money for smokes or alcohol, they find it or work for it. But they choose to live on the streets or in shelters. One in particular blew thru a $40k inheritance and then became homeless again.

    I just know that if that was the lifestyle I was going to choose to live, I would do it in the most comfortable place I could get to.

    For those that are homeless due to job loss/income loss, I know from my own experience of being unemployed for a few months a couple of times in my life that there are ways to cope including friends and family. But it involves tough, compromising choices and doing things that you perhaps don't want to do.