There’s plenty of depression about the recession.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses just released the results of their latest monthly survey, which showed that, despite the reports of “green shoots,” small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about the economy. The NFIB’s Optimism Index fell for the second straight month, reaching its lowest point since March. Not too surprising, considering the survey of nearly 2,000 members found that earnings in July were down for the 37th straight month.

The single most important problem right now? Of ten possible choices, 32% of the respondents (by far the largest percentage) said poor sales.

This is actually good news. How? Of all the problems the survey asked respondents to pick from (including taxes, inflation, interest rates, government regulations and insurance availability), sales is the only one which you can directly influence!

Which means you have a choice: You can moan and complain along with everyone else or you can do something about it!

What can you do? Here are some actions you can take immediately:
    • Increase your marketing efforts
    • Get back in touch with your customers
    • Launch a publicity campaign
    • Read a book
    • Attend a seminar
    • Hire a consultant or coach
    • Go to more (or different) networking events
    • Make the most of social media web sites
    • Create a budget version of your product or service
    • Train your sales team

Yes, the economy is bad right now. Yes, the outlook is still gloomy. Yes, things could get a lot worse before they get better. Are you going to simply throw up your hands in defeat or are you going to do what you can to succeed despite the harsh conditions? The choice is yours.

Click here to read the full NFIB August survey.