Not surprising since there is good and bad news everywhere you turn. While the automotive industry is struggling other industries are thriving. Being in a recession doesn’t mean that everything is doom and gloom. You only have to pick up the June 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine to find a list of 100 brilliant companies. Brilliant!
The thing to keep in mind is that the economy is fluid. It fluctuates based on many factors. An interesting example is credit unions. While big banks are taking a real hit, credit unions are seeing member growth. When confidence wanes in one area it usually increases in another. So it stands to reason that with all of the news about failing banks across the country, people will look for a viable alternative. Enter the small local bank and credit unions. They offer similar services and actually have money to lend.
Marshall Boutwell, president and CEO of Gwinnett Federal Credit Union in Georgia said it best in an Atlantic Journal Constitution article on May 19, 2009. According to Boutwell, the recession “has caused consumers to re-evaluate where they feel comfortable, and the big impersonal bank is less comfortable than it used to be.”
So, that’s it - “consumers re-evaluate where they feel comfortable.” And consumers do find companies they feel comfortable with all the time.
Take the case of Burt’s Bees. In a Los Angeles Times article on May 17, 2009, John Replogle, CEO of Burt’s Bees, shares the thought that “It’s the small luxuries, the small indulgences that people are reluctant to trade off.” This reluctance has led to a doubling of sales in the last three years.
Burt’s Bees is merely an example of small businesses throughout the country that are doing well. The owners are focusing on selling to the interests of people and companies. What will people buy? Why will they buy it?
The examples cited above point out that people do spend money. The economy doesn’t shut down completely; it shifts. While I could be writing about what’s wrong with the economy, that would serve no purpose. The best way to thrive in a recession is to pay attention to what works well; to what people ARE buying and the reasons why.
To be one of the companies on the top of the wave you have to pay attention to the shifts and act accordingly. Take advantage of the situation where you can. Keep an eye on the good economic stories.
Winston Churchill said, “A man with a vision is not held hostage by circumstance.”
Remember your vision. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t so you can adjust your marketing message, and your behavior accordingly. This will help you take full advantage of the situation.
About the Author: Diane Helbig is the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane is also the Co-Founder of Seize True Success, a coaching practice dedicated to working with franchisees. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at Top Sales Experts. Her story is featured in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul Power Moms.