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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

There was an article November 10th in The New York Times that kind of bugged me. Well, it must have really bugged me. Here I am 15 days later still thinking about the article and wanting to get a few thoughts off my chest.

The article was title, “Not a Bad Time for Small Businesses to Raise Prices”.

Some of the article was really great. Like this:

ZIG WHEN THEY ZAG “If your competition is busy nursing their recessionary wounds, then you should become aggressive in marketing yourself and your products,” argues Morebusiness.com, a Web site that describes itself as a “one-stop resource Web site for entrepreneurs.”

By increasing spending when your competitors are cutting back on theirs, you will have a chance to increase market share and be much better positioned to be profitable when the downturn ends.

Ok I can agree with that.

What I did not agree with was the following:

On the other hand, she writes, despite the talk that deflation — a period of declining prices — may occur sometime in the near future, most business are facing rising costs, especially if they purchase commodities. That, she says, gives them “every right to pass along these increases” to their customers.

Given recessionary pressure on one hand, and rising operating expenses on the other, Ms. Murray says she chooses raising prices. “If people see the value in your product or service, they will keep buying.

So why don’t I agree?

I started this business as a single mother in my living room. If this economy had happened during the time that I had started my business, or even a year or two after I started my business…. I would of reached out for help. I would of reached out for help and had very little to offer.

Oh wait. I did do that.

I could not afford the prices.

But what I could afford was learning how to do this stuff on my own. I had plenty of sales coming in to pay the bills. I wanted help to increase my sales so that I could pay to go out for dinner at Red Lobster instead of McDonalds. Buy my kids the Hollister clothes they wanted instead of at Wal-mart. I wanted to buy my dream car, even though my little Ford Focus was cute. I wanted to make enough sales to hire someone to help me so I could take some time off!!!!

If I was trying to learn this stuff on my own in this economy, I would of probably failed. It took me a long time to learn this stuff. It took trial and error. I lost a lot of money along the way not understanding pay per click. We certainly didn’t have the same tools then as we do today.

Which gets me to my point…

I would of desperately needed help in today’s economy. I would have reached out to a company like 1 Choice.

And this article suggests we raise our prices? This is a time when a single mother, small business owner, or someone like the old me in their living room reaches out. Even our larger customers are asking for assistance, as we all struggle with the volatile state of the economy.

This is not the time to raise prices. This is the time to help each other. Reach out to one another and come together to become the best we can be.

This is why during the busiest season of our year… instead of raising prices… we actually provided a 25% discount!!


Because the small business owner and the single mother in her living room that use to be me is whom this business was started for. I refuse to forget that.

So to the author of that article….

Thanks for the advice… But no thanks.

by: Shawna Seigel

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