Here we go again then - another recession brought about by people who won't be affected by it. But this isn't the time for the rest of us to sit back and take it...

The world is still turning, people still need things. The market is still there, it just requires a little more work, some creative thinking and the confidence that you'll get through it and come out the other side stronger, wiser and better off.

The way your customers (and more importantly, potential customers) see your business is exceptionally important at times like these. You need to be seen as a thriving and confident organisation for people to have confidence in you and part with their cash.

You don't need to spend a fortune to inspire your customers and get them excited about what you have to offer. It makes no difference what line of work you're in - you could build skyscrapers or sell flowers - the principal is the same. Simple, creative graphic design can make a huge difference to the way your company, however big or small, is perceived, and get you through the recession in one piece.

Of course if you have a PC on your desk you can knock up a quick leaflet in Word and print off a couple of hundred on your inkjet, but what does that tell people? You've got time to sit around fiddling with your computer - you must be quiet. Why? More importantly however, you are promoting your business in a cheap and unprofessional way so, naturally, thats the way people will see your business.

According to recent Design Council research, the majority of companies surveyed (69 per cent) did not measure their return on design investment. Of those that did, half recovered their investment in one year. A more promising statistic, is that over half of the larger companies questioned said they measure ROI and overall the rates for calculating return on investment are three times higher than three years ago.

Yes, we're in recession, but its also an opportunity to get your name out there and show people that you are open for business. It shouldn't dominate your thinking when it comes to promotion - the cost of a small investment in graphic design could well be significantly lower than the price you'll pay for promoting yourself on the cheap...