Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Season for Puff Pieces.

"Rehabilitating the Economy." The Bulletin, Jan.4, 2009.

I challenge you to find one nugget of useful information in that article. Blah, Blah, Blah. Things will get better, sure 2008 was bad but we're over the worse, no sense worrying about it, my neighbor is building a toolshed so the building boom is back!

There is another article over at Financial Armageddon that the website owner seems to think is really useful; the guy is usually pretty insightful, but when it comes to retail, he's a naif.

The gist of these kinds of articles are: work harder, promote more, give the customer what he wants, lower prices, advertise, be smarter.

Gee, I never would have thought of that!

Lower prices and sell more!

Especially the lower prices and advertise more.

Everyone who has never owned a store, or 'used to' own a store, or 'wants' to own a store will give you that advice. Everyone who has ever shopped in a store will give you that advice.

Do you suppose that no store owner has ever thought of those things?

Don't try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

It's slightly more complicated than that.


Advertising? What's that? Is that some new fangled technique?

Give the Customer what he Wants!

No...just for fun, don't. Don't give the customer what he wants. Oh, and when you walk, put one foot in front of the other. See? It's easy!

Work Harder!

Because we know you've just been sitting around. Couldn't be any other explanation for you to not be making money. This is America! Work hard and get ahead!

Sorry. But there are entire business magazines, entire business sites, entire business schools that are filled with nothing more than such empty advice. Often wrong advice. Stupid advice.

Think for yourself, use common sense, and doubt -- or at least, test -- the common wisdom.


bart said...

Well its true dunc, and as much you want to rub shit in the biz press, its exactly what your doing.

1.) cut expense to bone, which means laying off help,

2.) be more attentive to customers, its true, we can be assholes in good times, ...

3.) re-negotiate ALL your costs, duh, ... but true, ..

4.) advertising, there is MORE blogs on comics, more craigs-list about your stuff, more free web presence, ...

5.) work-hard, hell yes, in good times, all you had to do is buy comics and have tourist trip over the door entry, ... now you have to work hard on 1-4 above, ... insightful? hell no, but small-biz never changes, ...

6.) Its always been about survival thats the one thing that the naive never mention, they all assume that your running a biz to get rich, or some stupid equiv concept, the truth is you just survive, and pay the bills, but you are your own boss, and nobody watches over you, and thus its about lifestyle and worth it, ... working hourly wage slaves, never understand any of this

Puff Pieces? Even the BULL is about selling ad space to SUCKERS like you, and you don't advertise with them do you? The BULL is fucked. The BULL will continue to HUFF&PUFF, and you will ignore them.

Anonymous said...

So, Dunc, do you claim that NO small business should advertise?

Surely there are SOME small businesses that should advertise?

Duncan McGeary said...

I just know I haven't ever figured out a way to advertise that is cost efficient.

I think it might be possible, but not for me and mine.

If I were to move, for instance, I might advertise to let people know.

That kind of specific thing.

I'm an agnostic.