smileballwater1Last year, billionaire investor Warren Buffet, said that a recession reveals which businesses have been “swimming naked” because the tide goes out.

This is particularly true in Orange County where the real estate industry dominates and small business owners rely on a trickle-down effect during the good times.

Yesterday I went into a FedEx Office in Newport Beach that is normally brimming with activity.

It was a ghost town.

One employee said that over the holidays it was actually quite busy but eerily quiet on Monday.

Thankfully, a lot of naked folks decided to stay home.

Later that day I received a couple of messages from two very resourceful, upbeat business owners who wanted to plan out their marketing for the next six months.  One of them is in real estate (believe it or not) and the other is starting a new business after selling an old one.

Shoot me if I say attitude is everything.

It’s not.

You can have the greatest attitude in the world, not be hedged against a downturn in your region’s most dominant industry and be out of business in the blink of an eye.

Attitude matters, but having a plan and working that plan matters too.

Having a smart plan is even better.

When it comes to marketing, I am willing to bet the last thing you want to do this year is the same thing you did last year.

Are you really getting good ROI on your marketing dollars?  Are you tracking leads, measuring results and holding your advertising salespeople accountable?

Have you looked at how quickly and cheaply you can develop a viral online presence and generate contacts and leads from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?

You don’t have to be naked and exposed in a recession.

There are new ways of doing things and lots of resources out there.  We’ll expand more on that later in the week.