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The headline in the December 12, 2010 Wall Street Journal was, “Shopping Spree Fuels Surge.” The article also mentioned that the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at a two year high and in spite of weaknesses in the economy (extreme weaknesses for anybody who has been unemployed for an extended time).

So what are you doing about it? I believe a lot of small business owners are hanging on and waiting for the wave to ride them back to 2007 levels of sales and profits. Ha! Or in the spirit of the Christmas season should I say, “Ho, ho, ho.”

It’s funny that in a discussion last week someone was talking about how when times get tough a lot of firms cut marketing. You’d think it would be the other way around. Now is the time to be doing “smart” marketing. That means not just throwing money around but targeting customers, market segments and/or industries.

A lot of firms are going to wonder why the recovery hasn’t hit them as they see other businesses doing better. And the answer will be right in front of them; they did nothing to help themselves.

Here is some end of the year advice, start making contact with customers, past customers, old prospective customers and anybody else who may be able to buy from you (or refer you business). Get your name out there, show an interest in their problems and be ready when they are. In all but the extreme cases the business is there for those who go after it.

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