Small Business Owners: Consider what you are facing. Not "the worst economy since the Great Depression." Not "the worst unemployment rate in 26 years."
You have before you an opportunity that may occur only once in your lifetime.
The playing field has suddenly been leveled. Money has been neutralized as a weapon. Last year the 800-pound gorilla in your market had a million-dollar advertising budget and three marketing people, and he beat you up mercilessly with them. He doesn't have them any more. Now it's just you against him. Mano a mano.
And he's coming to this battle at a disadvantage. He's still in the mindset of playing by the old rules. You have a new tool available to you: Social Media. It allows you to build your brand and spread your word globally for almost no money. Social media allows you to accomplish what big companies with millions of advertising dollars cannot do.
Yes, It takes time and energy to successfully leverage social media, but a ton of time and energy is a lot easier to come by than a ton of money.
The playing field has been leveled. Seize the advantage.