Since the first fuel price hike over here my B & M business has been experiencing a slow down in sales. Even after fuel prices fell for what seemed like the umpteenth time, people just weren't spending like they did before.
Many pundits today are saying that this is one of the worst recession in the economy worldwide, predicting that it will continue well into next year, with a little recovery come mid-2009. Maybe, maybe not.
Whatever it is, you need to be cautious and conservative in your spending in the coming months. If you're not a big-time guru or you're not well-established yet in your online business, and you'd like to begin/continue operating online, a good bet is some kind of service that you offer to fellow entrepreneurs or businesses, even if it's in the Internet Marketing "niche". Product-based ventures in the IM niche, however, are another story. It would not be easy to pull off (although not impossible). Your best bet, as already mentioned, is to offer some kind of service.
Article writing, social marketing, blog-commenting for pay, graphics design, web design, script installation, etc. These are always in demand by the IM crowd. If you do good quality work and have reasonable pricing (throwing in the occasional special deals), you'll find business.
Remember not to spend indiscriminately on all those Internet Marketing courses, programs, products, etc, etc. They involve not only monetary spending but also require time-expenditure. Be realistic. Ask yourself if you're really going to 1) spend all that time reading/listening to that 500lbs of content and then 2) really go out there and apply it? If not, you can afford to pass on that course, because if you're not going to have the time nor inclination to do anything with what you MAY learn from it, it's not going to do a dang thing for you.
New courses or products always involve a learning curve - both an information-acquisition curve (reading/ listening and/or watching) and an actual learning curve (learning to do the methods recommended in the products, and all these learning takes time.
Pretty soon, you might start feeling desperate, thinking "Man, I ain't got time for this. I've got things to do. The bills are piling up".
And then you go do whatever it was you were doing before you bought the new course. But, guess what? Pretty soon you're going to start feeling stuck again and then you'll try to force yourself to get back to that new-fangled course to try to get inspiration/information. And in a while, you're going to feel its taking too long...and then whole cycle repeats itself over and over and over again.
You might even think that THAT OTHER new-fangled course you just saw in your email might hold the answer and waste more of your money buying THAT course.
Stop it. Just stop it, and get to work with what you already know and have.
Save your money instead.
One other thing. If you're a member of a forum, start participating. In the end, it's the friends we have and how we pull together that will ultimately allow us to rise above the economic storm. Look at the Warrior forum. It started with a handful of people posting (really posting, not just lurking) and have been through numerous reincarnations of forum software until it reached its current incarnation. Look at the deals and money that are being made there. It has become a destination of choice and a very valuable tool in every IMer's arsenal.
Participate, help others out, etc. In time to come, your membership in the forum may come in very handy in the months ahead when (or if) the recession really hits full force. Learn from the resources/posts/members in the forum. Make friends, make connections. If you're absolutely new to online business, THIS is the time to learn and gear up. There is no time to lose.