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Small Business Owners: Can You Outrun The Bear?

If you own a small business, this is for you.
We’ve all heard the joke before; Two hikers in the woods,. One asks what they should do if they see a bear. “Run” says one hiker. “You can’t outrun a bear” says the first hiker. The other hiker smiles and says “I don’t have to outrun the bear…I just have to outrun you”.
Recently when people ask me about how I cope with the economy, I think of that joke. The current economy is a Bear. It’s name is Recession. We don’t have to outrun the recession. We just need out outrun our competitors.
As one who is sought for advice, I can tell you this; Not everyone reading these words will be in business a year from now. Some will not outrun the Bear.
For some, fear will slow their steps. Some will panic, trip, and get eaten.
Some will beg the bear..curse the bear…ignore the bear…But the bear is unforgiving and merciless.
Many will feel better as they tell their friends “Well, at least I’m not alone. The economy killed my business. It wasn’t my fault. I’ll just join my friends in the bread line. There is no shame in getting eaten by a bear”. You could be comforted by each others “Bear Stories”.
Cowards comforting cowards. You heard me.
The problem is real. No amount of Positive talk will change the fact that our country is in a DEEP recession. But there is Good News….
Even a deep recession will only last a couple of years. We know that from history. No matter what you sell …eventually people have to buy a new one. Demand gets “Pent up”. And with fewer competitors to share these sales, your reward for just surviving the next year will be huge! So what can you do now?
In the past, many thought of studying marketing as something other business owners do.
We can’t afford that view anymore. You need the ideas from the successful businesses. You need new ways to compete for a stagnant customer base.
Heck, just being in Las Vegas gets my juices flowing. I watch people sit and gamble until all their money is gone…and they get nothing back to show for it. How much easier is it to get people’s money when you give them great values? I’m salivating at the mere thought of those sales.
And are you advertising at all? Then you need to learn about profitable advertising. You need to squeeze every drop of profit from every ad. Every advertising and marketing dollar needs to work twice as hard as last year…
Let your competitors sit back this year and whine and complain about the bear. Let them curl up in a ball..hoping the bear doesn’t see them. But not you.
Read good articles on marketing. Read a good book on advertising. Go back to your business fresh…and hit the ground running!

Small Business Marketing and Local Advertising expert Claude Whitacre is author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. You can purchase the book for $19.95 at You can also download your Free copy of the complete book at