As we write this post, the news media is full of discussion over the impending U.S. fiscal cliff. In case you’ve been hiding in a cave (understandable), the fiscal cliff is what the U.S. economy faces if Congress and the President can’t agree on tax rates and spending cuts in order to reduce the nation’s budget deficit.
A massive hurricane sweeps through your coastal community. Fortunately, the small convenience store you own is spared major damage. Before long, customers who have lost power and shelter are lining up 20 deep to buy coffee and food. Would you raise prices across the board in order to manage demand (and increase profits)? Or would you keep your prices stable and ration your inventory in order to serve as many customers as possible in their hour of need?
Some U.S. homes built between 2003 and 2008 contain imported drywall, known in the press as Chinese drywall. Some consumers who live in these homes have reported problems, including a strong sulfur smell, like rotten eggs; health issues, like irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, a persistent cough and headaches; and premature corrosion or deterioration of certain metal components in their homes, like air conditioner coils and wiring behind electrical outlets and inside electrical panel boxes.
E-mail marketing has become a crucial part of contemporary small-business marketing. Along with pay-per-click advertising and social-media promotions, e-mail marketing is a powerful means of growing your business. However, since e-mailing generally costs less than other forms of marketing, it’s easy to get carried away, sending irrelevant e-mails to untargeted prospects (i.e., people in any industry). This may label you as an unethical e-mailer (at best) or a spammer (at worst).
In the old days—say, 15 years ago—consumers checked with friends, family, and consumer reports before making major purchases. Today, they consult online reviews . . . and not just for major purchases. According to the 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker, 55 percent of consumers do online research after receiving a purchase recommendation for a new car. But nearly 50 percent also do so before selecting a restaurant, and roughly 38 percent before buying footwear or apparel.