An Economic Antidepressant for Small Business Owners? -
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An Economic Antidepressant for Small Business Owners?

Small Business and OptimismEvery time I turn on the TV these days, I’m met by the “depression hurts” piano chords of the Cymbalta® commercial. Depression is big business these days, so I don’t necessarily blame Eli Lilly, Cymbalta’s maker, for promoting a pill to every demographic imaginable. The fact that it can also cause headaches, nausea, and yes, even suicide, doesn’t make Eli Lilly any less gun-shy about promoting the potential benefits of the drug. After all, depression hurts, Cymbalta can help.

Now if only the government could develop an economic antidepressant that would magically raise the optimism of small business owners . . . and hopefully one that wouldn’t have the side effects found in similar remedies.

The optimism of small business owners is very important to the economy’s recovery, because, as William Dunkelberg, chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), reminded government leaders the other day, small business generates half of the private sector GDP and employs at least 60% of all private sector workers. While the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index moved up by 1.3 points to 89.3, small business owners have been feeling the heat, and the index reflects it.

As an entrepreneur, you’re a self-starter, so while the government evaluates whether it’s feasible to extend more tax cuts or additional stimulus incentives to small businesses, you may need to take matters into your own hands. One thing you can do to improve your bottom line and attract new customers is to take a look at your Web presence. Most of your customers are online these days, and tweaking your online presence can be a great acquisition and retention channel if you take the time to do it right.

What should you look for when you’re evaluating the effectiveness of your online presence?

  1. Website Design. When was the last time you freshened the content or look and feel of your website?
  2. Search Engine Optimization. Are you still mesmerized by “Flash” technology and don’t know what keywords are? If so, that could explain why your site is not generating any or a lot of traffic.
  3. Search Engine Marketing. Is your pay-per-click campaign working? If not, it’s time to fine-tune it.
  4. Website Tracking. Are you able to measure whether your website is an effective sales conversion tool? A trackable 800 number or an online form can help you gauge your success.
  5. eCommerce. Are you selling your goods or services online? If not, why not?

A website is a living thing. You can’t just create it and walk away. Plus, the online environment changes daily. So if you’re not generating the traffic, leads, and/or sales that you feel you should, you might want to focus more on your online strategy. Because while the economy hurts, your website can help. . . .

P.S. If you’re not sure how you can optimize your Web presence, is here to help.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


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  1. Congress could develop an economic antidepressant that would magically raise the optimism of small business owners—It’s called tax cuts and smaller government, but it is not going to happen. So I like your solution for website owners to start looking at how to increase their website’s traffic and sales. We can’t wait for something that is not going to happen.

  2. I agree that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Without them there would be much less consumer demand. But the challenges are high for small businesses to compete with larger ones. Everything from shipping to Web hosting costs us more. I’m not sure why charges for SEO, eCommerce, hosting, etc., when other companies are doing this for free. should understand that they are in many ways killing the golden cow, because when the small business goes under, they will no longer make money. I hope takes a serious look at its pricing this year and makes adjustments. We small businesses need all the help we can get right now.

  3. I’m sorry if you aren’t currently satisfied with, Gretchen. We strive to provide our small business customers with the best products available at a competitive price. If you don’t feel you are getting the best return on your investment currently, please contact me at, and I’ll gladly try to help you any way I can.

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