How to Assure 2010 Won’t Be Like 2009

Let’s face it. Things have changed. Business strategies that worked well in 2007 may or may not work in 2009.

You may have noticed a lack of enthusiasm from other business people. You might be experiencing a lack of enthusiasm yourself.

Well, not everyone is depressed.

The movie industry as a whole is on the verge of a record year. McDonald’s continues to do very well. Apple and it’s line of iPhones, iPods, and Macintosh computers continues to post stellar profits.

So the idea promoted in the media that everything is bad in the economy and that everyone is suffering is simply not true. (My definition of the news industry is, “Lies, damn lies, and advertising.)

So how do you shift from being one of the businesses that’s sliding, to one of the businesses that’s growing?

The first thing is to check in with Albert Einstein. (While growing a business is not rocket science, it doesn’t hurt to check with one of the world’s most famous physicists every now and again.)

He defines insanity as: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So, if you are experiencing a record year this year – keep doing what you are already doing.

If, however, 2009 is a business year you’d rather forget, then it’s time to explore new approaches.

Continuing to do the same thing over and over when it is not delivering results would be (according to Einstein) the very definition of insanity.

So Step One would be to recognize that your way of doing business needs to change.

Step Two is to decide what changes should be made.

A good starting point is to decide how you can improve your product or service to make it more desirable. This will help keep your current customers coming back and it will also attract new customers.

Since they’re so successful, let’s look at what McDonald’s has been doing.

As of last quarter the company had delivered a 3-1/2-year string of progressively stronger earnings. This was done while many other companies have seen downturns. (Some needed to be put on life support.)

So how did they do it?

It wasn’t too long ago that McDonald’s was vilified for making people fat and was written off as being out-of-touch. Now, McDonald’s seems to have won over some of its most skeptical critics.

Old customers have been lured back by new menu items, longer hours, and in some locations sparkling new interiors that include flat-screen televisions and video games for children.

Stores were opened earlier to extend breakfast hours and stayed open longer to capture late-night diners. Fully 34 percent of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are now open 24 hours a day.

Many moms say they often bring their children to the playroom and feel no guilt serving them apple slices and white-meat Chicken McNuggets.

Some customers have been drawn back in — grudgingly — because McDonald’s lattes are cheaper and more convenient than those at Starbucks.

The combination of these changes has significantly increased McDonald’s desirability. Even more important is the effect on their bottom line.

The Other Key Factor

There is another factor in their success. It’s one thing to make an improvement to the products or services offered to your customers. It’s another to effectively communicate the benefits of those improvements so customers buy from you.

Over the past few years, McDonald’s has aggressively promoted their new menu items and services to the public.

The “I’m lovin it” ad campaign is still going strong. While the cost of local radio and television ads has dropped, McDonald’s has maintained its budgets – dramatically increasing the amount of advertising being aired.

Here is a fundamental business principle that you should write on a bright piece of paper and put on the wall just above your computer monitor:

The amount of promotion you put out each month is what most directly affects your income.

If you are waiting for you business to improve so you can begin advertising, you are in for a very long wait.

Actually, you need to increase your advertising so your business will improve.

So, if you don’t want to repeat 2009, here’s an easy program for taking control of your business success:

1. Improve your product or service to make it more desirable
2. Promote it like crazy
3. Repeat Step 2
4. Repeat Step 2 again

If you find yourself a bit confused as to what to do or what to say in your promotions, don’t worry. Help is only a phone call away. Call Sentium at 1(800) 595-1288. We will schedule a free, no obligation telephone session to help you get your program on track.

It really is that easy.

So, if you want the next year to be better than this past one, decide to operate differently. Give Sentium a call right now before the New Year comes.

To your business success,


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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
© 2009 All Rights Reserved. All people who are looking to dramatically boost their business should read this e-zine. Don’t even think about reproducing this document or its contents without written permission from Richard Wilson. But feel free to forward this to all of your friends. For reprint permission, please call 800-595-1288.