Are you sitting in your store or office wondering where all the customers/clients went? In normal times we typically lose about 10% of our customers in any given year to competition, their changing needs, or other mysterious reasons; but these are not "normal" times. Our lack of customers is just a snapshot of the greater economy. When the economy is struggling you can also expect to be struggling. That is "normal."
During tough times it is imperative that you reach out more, do more to attract business. This also may mean spending money that is scarce. However, DO NOT consider anything that you have to spend on advertising or marketing as an expense. It may affect your cash flow, but it is not an expense, it is an investment in your future success. Without ongoing marketing efforts you can be sure that the 10% client loss will increase substantially.
When available cash for marketing or advertising becomes a challenge it is time to get creative. There are a number of avenues you can take to get your name out there that are free. They make an investment of time, but you have that if your traffic is down.
Take a look at social media, using your computer to reach out, newsletters to keep in touch, surveys to be sure you are offering what your customers want, blogging or article marketing, networking or press releases.
If you need some ideas that match your goals contact me. We never charge for the first hour of consultation and that may be all you need to get headed in the right direction.