Market strong in weak economy

If you're concerned about the economy and how it's going to impact your business, I have two suggestions. First, check out the Editorial in the February issue of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction. Then, amp up your marketing efforts. Businesses, large and small, are notorious for slashing marketing budgets in times when the economy might be -- or is -- heading south. But PR and marketing firms - who, granted, have a vested interest in your marketing expenses -- say that's the time to ratchet up your marketing efforts, not cut them back. In the Chicago Tribune's recent Small Talk column, Jennifer Miller, owner of Printing & Promotional Partners, Jacksonville, FL, says orders of stationary, promotional pens, and related items are the first to get cut back. But formal and informal networking, "sign now" discounts, and offers of special service can do a lot to keep jobs in your production pipeline. Miller, while encouraging her customers not to cut back on their promotional pieces, also encourages them to extend relationships with existing customers, adding that stopping promotion isn't the way to work through an economic slowdown. "They need to start pushing marketing to get their names out there more," Miller says.