If you are following the ups and downs of the stock market in order to gauge the condition of the economy, you may be looking in the wrong place. Let me tell you why.
I recently asked a client, "How's business?" "Good," was his tentative reply. But then he amended it to, "surprisingly good." It seems January has been a productive month for his company. And, while he admitted the orders were not flying in like a few years ago, he was pleased with the way things were going. Maybe even a little optimistic.
Thus, the recovery begins. Not on Wall Street, but on Main Street. If you are hoping that the infusion of billions of dollars of our money into the financial system will eventually trickle down to help you out of the doldrums, don't hold your breath. Look where the first $350 billion went - nobody knows. (Although my guess is that most of it is now in private accounts in the Cayman Islands.)
No, the strength of the U.S. economy is not centered in the money shops of New York. It is in the small machine shops, local retail stores, local banks, farms and business offices just down the street from where you are. WE will be the engine that drives the recovery, not the socialization of America.
The client also shared the fact that much of his current business is coming from repeat customers. That is always nice, but never an accident. Such support and loyalty is the result of treating customers fairly and staying in touch with them.
I have always said that the most important marketing you can do is not to prospects, but to existing customers who already know and understand you. But they can easily forget about you unless you make the effort to keep the channels of communication open.