Making any decision in a moment of fear is a bad idea.
On this, I know of what I speak, people. I struggle with this one daily, myself. The thing is, chances are, we have more time than we think to make a decision about something. I'm not telling you to procrastinate, as that has it's own set of issues. I'm telling you to step back, analyze the situation when you can actually breathe.
In this breathing, weighing, analyzing moment, write down exactly what you think your choices are in a given situation. Let's use the example of marketing when you're in the red:
- Spend more than you have now if you think you have money coming in the near future.
- Spend nothing and put marketing on hold until you're doing better.
- Spend all the money you can on one big print ad.
All of the above are based on "spend or not spend" because your core issue is about money. Generally speaking, the one thing you probably have more of when things are lean is time. So, take the money out of the equation and ask yourself how can I spend my time to keep up my marketing efforts?
If you stop marketing when things are good, you won't have business when times are less good. If you stop marketing for lack of money, you've just bought yourself a self-fulfilling prophesy.
So, let's put in a couple of more options for the marketing effort, sans cash, or very little cash:
- FOCUSED online networking.
- If you have a retail environment, consider hosting events there for free to groups as a way to expose your biz to more new eyes
- Offer free seminars on what you do for your service-based biz.
- Host your own events and bring in like-minded folks. It's not competition, it's cooperative marketing.
- Reach out to existing clients/customers and offer them an incentive for sending you sales or leads.
- Offer to write articles on blogs in your area of expertise.