Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maintaining a Web Presence in a Recession

According to research from Webvisible and Nielsen, 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so, only 44% of small businesses have a website and half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online. Small business owners behave like consumers - they use the net to research products and to search for the best price, however there is a significant disconnect between the way small business owners act as consumers vs. the way they market their businesses online. Why is this? Perhaps because there’s a misconception that it requires large marketing budgets to create a website. Not these days. You can get domain and hosting packages for under $10 a month from GoDaddy. For a basic site, most systems will have an easy to use template. If you want something a little more professional, there are tons of website designers you can negotiate a good rate in this economy. (Check out Craigslist.) And then there’s video uploads, blogging and social networking to create a buzz for your business. Twitter and Facebook cost you nothing. The survey also found that search engines are the most popular source for finding local information: 50% said search engines were the first place they looked when seeking a local business, while 24% chose the Yellow Pages directories. As the recession continues to hit marketing budgets, it is even more important to not make the knee jerk reaction and cut Internet advertising. Maintaining a web presence is key to survival. Post a comment or contact me on

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Economic Stimulus ('Stinker') Bill

Senator Lindsey Graham called it what it is, a "stinker" Bill. Earlier on Fox news he said: "This Bill is not an economic stimulus package. It's an orgy of congressional spending unrelated to creating jobs." Also today, President Obama called it what is: "a spending Bill". Well I'm glad we actually got to the truth! Everyone by now knows it is loaded with 'pork' but did you know that only 17% of the $920 BN Bill is intended to be spent in the first year? Most of the expenditure happens in the 4 th year..... yeah election year. Isn't that coincidental? And what if the economy picks up by the 4th year and we don't need all this spending and all this debt? The Democrats have ensured they get to spend it anyway. Senator McCain has at least introduced a sensible amendment: that when we reach 2 Quarters of positive GDP growth, the spending allocation in that Bill stops and cannot be re-appropriated. People need to ask deep deep questions here and take action by calling their congressional leaders. This Bill does little to create the jobs we so desperately need now. And since when was government any good at creating jobs? We've seen the mess at the SEC and the USCIS and no doubt countless other government departments wasting tax payers' money. The original House Bill has spending allocations for just about every department you can think of, but with no breakdown of expenditure or reason. How does this stimulate job growth in the private sector? " In addition to funds otherwise made available in this Act, there are hereby appropriated the following sums to the specified Offices of Inspector General, to remain available until September 30, 2013, for oversight and audit of programs, grants, and projects funded under this Act:"
  • Dept. of Agriculture - $22.5 M
  • Dept. of Commerce - $10 M
  • Dept. of Education $14 M
  • Dept. of Energy $15 M
  • Dept. of Health $19 M
  • Homeland Security $2 M
  • Dept. of Housing & Urban Development $15 M
  • Dept. of Interior $15 M
  • Dept. of Justice $2 M
  • Dept. of Labor $6 M (that's an ironic one if this is supposed to be a stimulus)
  • EPA $20 M ( you can only wonder about that one)
  • NASA $2M
  • SBA $10 M (for what? They never lend money to small business anyway.)
  • Corporation of National Community Service $1 M (What exactly is this for......ACORN?
And then the Government Accountability Office gets $20 M to oversee the above. This Bill is nothing more than an appropriations wish list by the Democrats - a boon dongle! In the process, they will increase government departments that will have lasting effects since government never downsizes like businesses do when needed. It's time for people to wake up. It's our money after all! Call you Senator and stop this 'pork'! ( Comment or e-mail me at


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