It’s a small (potatoes) world after all!


Blogging offers an alternative to the mainstream media. If all we were told came from TV programs like CNBC we would believe that the state of the economy as a whole is based upon the rise and fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Index, and that we’re now in a relatively stable market. In fact, with each bear market rally there’s the declaration that we have finally hit bottom, and that the recession is losing steam.

Really?

The Squawk Box protagonists seem oddly out of touch with the economic realities facing us regular folks. The stock market right now is not for individual investors, it’s only safe for professional traders. The rest of us know we are deep in the throes of not only a recession, but a wholesale re-ordering of our economic realities, and of the makeup of the United States as a global financial power.

What the Dow or the S&P do in the next 6 months won’t help us avoid what is to come, or what needs to be done.

Yet this is one of the best times for small businesses that have grit, determination, and the ability to sense an opportunity, and there are a lot of opportunities out there. The marketplace is finally shedding its fascination with large enterprise, as it should. There are many of these business models that do not work — think of the financial supermarket concept a` la` Citibank.

The marketplace is now embracing once dormant concepts like customer service.

Strange how we consumers didn’t like being transferred between innumerable voice-activated menus and virtual attendants, only to land up in someone’s voicemail when we requested to talk to a representative.

My sense is that we’re in a more “small potatoes” world now than we have been in a long while, and that’s what people have always wanted. The “bigger is better” theory is gone, and good riddance! The law firm with 1,000 lawyers in 16 countries never resonated with me, and I suspect didn’t do it for most other businesses not currently contemplating the acquisition of an Anheuser-Busch. I was always uncomfortable working in, or doing business with large organizations. Don’t believe that you get the best service, expertise, or product from a large organization or professional service firm, because you don’t.

Small businesses have always provided clients with impeccable customer service; have always traveled to see clients (not only to sign up the client but for the ongoing servicing of the client’s account). We have always got to know the personalities behind the client, and the inner forces that drive our customers, because we feel the same impulses. It’s not a new marketing concept to us small business owners, it’s what we do! The fact that the economy is circling around and garnering respect for basic and traditional values is music to our small business ears. My advice is to go out, find those opportunities out there that fit your business niche` and pursue the challenges you have without regard for the size of your business or your perceived strength. There’s no doubt that not only will you compete, you will crush the big guy.

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