How Do Local Businesses Survive in this Economy?

Albuquerque, NM, January 4—The construction industry has been hard hit by this economy. In  the wake of the housing collapse, many local construction companies have had to  close their doors or downsize.

Custom ABQ Construction is a local business owned by Robert  Pallulat. Pallulat started his business in 2007 just before the 2008-2009  recession. Starting out as a new business hungry for leads, Custom ABQ  Construction now has more business than it can handle. A good problem for any  business.

When asked why his business is thriving at a time when  others are struggling to survive, Pallulat replied, “It’s the Internet. That’s  where people are looking for me and that’s where I am. I show up on the first  page of Google when people type in search terms that relate to my business—like  ‘Albuquerque Custom Carpentry.’ Actually, I think I hold the number one ranking  on Google for phrases like that.”

Pallulat goes on to say, “As a new business, I had to make  some tough decisions about how to spend a very limited marketing budget. I knew  the Internet was where I had to be, because that’s where I see most people  looking for local services these days. And that has proven to be true for me  and my business.”

Another local construction company, Ex-El Foam, is bucking the trend of slow  business during a tough economy. Owner Bob LePage has been providing the greater  Albuquerque area with polyurethane foam application since 1992.

Over the years, LePage has utilized numerous methods to  market his business, including the Yellow Pages. After investing in search  optimization earlier last year, LePage has seen his Web site result in solid  leads for his business.

He attributes his success in large part to his Internet marketing, saying, “We get a large portion of our leads from our Internet  exposure now. Even during the holidays we see activity. That never happened  before.”

As consumers are seeking ways to stretch their money in hard  economic times, the construction industry is not the only one facing turbulent  times. The salon and spa industry has also suffered.

At a time when many salons are struggling to keep their  business going, Salon Helena of Albuquerque is thriving.

Salon Helena started doing business in 2008. Owners Helena and Mike McMullen attribute much  of their success to their Internet marketing efforts. Mike said, “When we  opened our salon, we decided to take a risk and not advertise in the yellow  pages. We decided to spend the bulk of our marketing budget in Internet  marketing. And, boy, has it paid off.”

A solid Internet presence has done more than just drum up  new business for Salon Helena. It’s given them national exposure and positioned  them as a local industry leader—which is driving even more business to their  salon.

In the summer of 2009, Salon Helena was the only New Mexico  salon listed as one of the “Top 100 Salons in the United States” in Elle  Magazine. Helena was also voted “Best Hair Stylist in Albuquerque” in Albuquerque the Magazine’s 2009 Best of  the City survey.

“I believe much of our recognition is directly related to  the success of our Web site,” said Helena. “As high rankings in the search  engines continue to drive new business our way, more and more people are able  to experience just how great Salon Helena is. And they’re spreading the  word—across the nation!”

What all of these businesses have in common is a  forward-thinking approach to marketing.

Recently, each of these companies stepped up their efforts  to market their business online using,  a local Internet Marketing firm and DBA of,  Inc. And the results have been impressive. helps local businesses succeed through Search Engine Optimization  (SEO).

Search engine optimization is the process by which a Web  site is engineered to land at the top of the search engine results pages when  people type in relevant search queries.

According to Keli Etscorn, SEO Department Manager at, “As New Mexicans hold their purse strings a little tighter,  they’re seeking to get the most bang for their buck. They’re spending more time  researching products and services online before they commit to buying. In the  process, consumers have become more savvy researchers as they seek to stretch  every dollar as far as possible.  In  order for a business to succeed as times change, they must have a solid online  presence—and meet potential clients where they are.”

Etscorn continues, “Being on the first page of search  engines like Google is more important than ever before. A high ranking in the  search engine results pages is like receiving a vote of confidence for your  business. If Google ranks your business on the first page for a search engine  user’s query, it’s viewed as a mark of credibility by most consumers.”

Research shows that businesses are  beginning to realize just how important a solid Web presence is. In 2009, Forbes reported a $65 billion  advertising shift from traditional marketing mediums to Internet marketing.

Times are  changing. For businesses to remain viable in the 21st century, they  must refocus their marketing efforts and consider how the Internet has not only  changed the way we live, but changed the way we do business.


About the Company, Inc. is a local Albuquerque company that was  started in 1998 by UNM alumni Arvind Raichur, J.D. and Becky Raichur. The  company began as an online attorney directory and online portal for consumers  and lawyers in need of legal information. After surviving the dotcom bust of  2000,, Inc. has gradually expanded its online marketing services to  reach other types of small businesses by doing business as Today,, Inc. is a full-service Web site design, development, hosting and  marketing company that has clients throughout the United States and Canada.