Small Changes in Buying Habits Help the Economy

Making a small change in our buying habits can and will help the American economy. The recession is continuing to take a very hefty toll on American businesses and this in turn means fewer jobs, more families on welfare and generally a lot more misery to be spread around. Next time you look to order or buy an item, just take the time to consider where it is being made before you hand over your money!

A good business example is in sourcing printing needs.

The internet has brought many suppliers right to our doors, and printing is no exception. Today you can make a search for something as simple as asset labels and see thousands of suppliers, none of whom look as if they are anywhere else except right next door! The bulk of these suppliers are in fact located overseas, especially in the Far East, notably China.

Buying printing services from these overseas suppliers is bad for the environment and bad for the economy, and ultimately, bad for all of us. By sending that order overseas so you can save a few bucks, you are costing the US economy jobs, taxes and increased welfare payments to those left unemployed. In many instances you are saving a few bucks for shoddy workmanship with poor quality finish and lower service standards. Next time you are sourcing a supplier over the internet, take the time to consider whether the company you are giving the business too is based in the US and is helping Americans by giving them much-needed work.

Now, here’s a personal shopping habit that can help the American economy.

Buying food goods is usually fairly straight forward as we produce most of our food here in the US. So, when you are doing your grocery shopping, look at the non-food items and see which ones you are buying are not made here in the US. Last year the US economy shrank by around 7%, so equating this to your groceries, you only need to find 7% of your bill which can be redirected to buying American. Good products to check include shaving foams, shampoos and beauty treatments as there are many which are manufactured overseas and not here in the US, a world fashion and beauty leader. White goods for laundry and kitchen are extremely valuable products which you can help the economy by buying American. Most of all, the next time you are looking to change your car, look to buy an American vehicle and you can certainly help the economy out a great deal more than the 7% you are looking to put back into Uncle Sam Inc.

Small, step changes in buying habits follows the highly successful strategy used by those looking to shed extra pounds. By simply making healthier choices in your diet you can easily lose weight without exertion. The same applies to the American economy -we only to change our spending habits in a small way in order to get the country back on track. The benefits are enormous and immediate, but there is also nothing wrong with developing the long-term habit of buying American in any event.

The Recessionary Economy – Surviving It’s Challenge

Michelle looked at this month’s sales. It was the worst month yet for her online gift boutique. People just didn’t seem to have any money to spend and competitors were selling similar products below Michelle’s cost. She needed to do something. And, she needed to do it quickly. But, where should she start?

Cranking up the effort

In a recession, the most common response to dwindling sales and profits is to kick up promotions and cut costs. Trouble is, this strategy doesn’t really solve the problem. Promotions fail because customers no longer have money to spend. Stealing customers with money to spend from competitors is not an option. Competitors are slashing prices and increasing promotional efforts in an attempt to hang on to their own dwindling base of customers. And, they have trimmed their operations to the bare bones to keep costs at a minimum.

The problem with “cranking up the effort” in response to dwindling sales and profits in a recessionary economy is that it just doesn’t work. The time and money spent on promotions designed to capture a larger portion of a dwindling customer base will typically exceed any additional sales revenue that these promotions can realistically generate, especially when the competitive climate is intense. And, with most businesses having already engaged in cost-cutting measures, further cost reductions may eliminate quality and features in products and services that customers value causing sales to decline even further.

Back to basics

To survive and prosper in a recessionary economy, the small business owner must reinvent their business. They must find the opportunities a recessionary economy presents and use the strengths of their business to pursue those opportunities. It is not enough to simply take shelter and wait for the storm to pass. This most recent recession is not a “blip” on the radar screen. It represents a major restructuring of our economy.

A business must identify those customers who have money to spend on satisfying some need, preferably a very intense need. The business must then identify a package of products and services that it can sell to these customers at a profit, despite intense competition. This may mean changing the customer base. It may mean changing what is sold. The business must find a “match” between what customers will spend money on and what a business can sell.

Questions to ask

Michelle should start by asking herself some basic questions. If she doesn’t know the answers, she should actively seek out information that will allow her to answer these questions with confidence. These questions will allow Michelle to focus on the opportunities that the recession has to offer.

1.What are the industry trends and opportunities?

Most people forget to periodically check out the industry summaries that are readily available online, for free, through most any public library. Understanding the trends in the markets, particularly trends with customers, helps a small business stay current and focused on customers with money to spend.

2.Why do customers purchase?

It is not enough to understand what types of products and services customers spend money on. It is important to understand why they purchase the products and services they do. Understanding a customer’s underlying motivations enables a business to identify those products and services that can compete.

3.Are the products and services aligned with customer motivations?

This is the most difficult question to ask and answer. The economy has changed. It may be that your business no longer sells products and services customers are motivated to buy. It could be that competitors have grown at your expense. Or, it could be that your customer base no longer has money to spend. Change is inevitable. The success of your business depends on your ability to identify new opportunities that your business can realistically pursue and focus your limited time and resources on pursuing those opportunities.

Next steps

Michelle may not succeed in the new economy. But, spending her time and energy on strategies that worked in the old economy is likely to be an expensive waste of her time. Michelle needs to take a fresh look at the world, the economy and her business. She needs to find new and promising opportunities to pursue. Michelle needs to reinvent.

Four Key Elements of a Business Strategy in a Weak Economy

Ever since the great recession began in 2008, companies have struggled with how they should navigate the downturn. Many of those that are fortunate enough to generate cash have decided to bank it rather than invest it. So, what should a business leader do when faced with a weak economy? Here are four good ideas:

Make sure that your organization has a laser focus on a few critical strategies: When the economy is robust, companies have the luxury of being able to go in different directions some of which may not be related to their primary mission. However in a weak economy, this is a luxury that few can afford. Companies must focus on the critical few strategies that leverage their strengths and maximize the use of their available resources. If your organization doesn’t have a clear mission and a grand strategy to accomplish it, then this is the first place to start.

Make process improvements that drive efficiencies: The Japanese call it “Kaizan,” the process of continuous improvement. With few exceptions, opportunities exist in every organization to streamline how things get done. In a period of a weak economy, things are slower and companies have extra capacity with employees that are not fully utilized. Sometimes it may be necessary to furlough some employees to trim expenses; however, in other cases, it might be possible to put these people to work on improving processes, implementing new technologies, or managing other projects that drive efficiencies. Efficiencies save money, improve productivity, and deliver better customer service, all of which can improve market-share and sustain the company during a downturn. It can also position the company for future growth when the economy recovers.

Sustain core competencies: When things are slow, it is a good time to train employees and sustain core competencies. When things are busy, it is difficult to take people out of production and away from the day-to-day business. However, many companies choose to cut training when the economy slows down. Sometimes this may be a necessary survival strategy, but in many cases it is the best time to conduct training rather than cut it. Before you downsize the training department, think about how you might be able to use them to sustain core competencies.

Build your bench strength: A downturn in the economy may be one of the best times to focus on talent management and build bench strength. Internally, you might focus your best people on the toughest problems. These might include process improvement projects, business development, and consolidations or opportunistic acquisitions. Externally, there will likely be a pool of talented unemployed candidates who might not otherwise be easily hired. If the resources are available, a downturn might be one of the best times to hire great talent for the future.

These are just a few ideas to deal with a weak economy. Regardless of which ones you use, the most important thing is to take action that makes sense for your company. If you sit still, you get run over. Keep moving.

Successful Selling in a Tough Economy – Transcending The Yard Sale Mindset

The so-called “Great Recession” continues to hover over all that we do (and sell) in 2012. There are more than a few pundits who see current trends as an indicator of “The New Economy,” rather than a phase we are passing through. Every day brings new opportunities and a new chance for professional Salespeople to stand firm on value in their sales efforts, rather than acquiescing to price-driven negotiations.

Whether the economy is strong or weak, prospects who buy strictly on the basis of price are generally the worst long-term choices for customers. If you offer a “discount” to a customer once, they will continually seek additional discounts. If you lower the price of your offering in order to pander to prospects who are price shopping, they will consistently attempt to lower your prices even further. They see a price concession as a victory, but seldom assign any value to what they have purchased. It’s a game of chess, of one-upsmanship. If you create new relationships with price shopping as a foundation, you will soon develop a roster of clients who only want more, more, more. They’ll never be satisfied, and as a professional Salesperson, neither will you.

Accepting the fact that price is an issue in this economy, how do you incorporate this into your sales efforts and retain your integrity (as well as your profit margins)? The answer is simple. You must assign an honest value to the products and services that you offer, and you must be able to articulate a value higher than what you are selling.

You may or may not be able to provide valid R.O.I. data in your proposal. As an example, you can propose the creation of a Website for a local restaurant that includes a creative and engaging design, full menus, custom photography of the restaurant’s signature menu items, an embedded Google map, and a contact page. What you can’t promise is a specific number of customers who will visit the restaurant and purchase a meal.

Clients have told me “If I pay you “X” amount of dollars to create the Website, I have to sell “X” amount of lunches / dinners just to break even.”

That’s not the way marketing works. Here are a few key factors to consider:

1). In the current economy (and the “Internet Age”), a professionally designed Website establishes the credibility of a business. A business which chooses to put together a Facebook page, rather than a professional Website, is viewed as “dabbling” in their business. Customers know the business owner most likely made the decision based on price, and a desire to circumvent paying for the services of a professional Web Designer. A business that is not willing to make the commitment to promote their products and services in a professional manner is a business that becomes “suspect” in the eyes of its potential customers.

2). Everyone else is doing it. If you are in a major city… San Francisco, for example… and there are 20 restaurants on your street, and 18 of them have professional Websites, the remaining 2 restaurants can’t say that they “don’t need” a Website. They need to stand neck-and-neck with their competition.

3). In the current economy, most consumers are extremely cautious about “luxury spending.” For some, that might mean dining out. They might go online and search for restaurant reviews and restaurant Websites. If they make their decision based on online menus and/or photos of the food being served, restaurants lacking an online presence will lose every time.

In this scenario, the Salesperson can’t guarantee a minimum number of customers sitting down for a meal. They can provide data on how many of their competitors have Websites, and how their lack of a Website puts them at the back of the pack.

The professional Salesperson must maximize the reality of the value found in their products and/or services. If the Salesperson can’t guarantee a bottom-line profit margin for their clients, they must be prepared to articulate the landscape on which their competitors stand. Regardless of the economy, every business owner wants something at least a little better than what is being enjoyed by their nearest competitor.

The Website example used in this article can be modified and adapted to any product or service you may wish to sell. You must know the market, know the competition, know the value of your product or service, and strategically position yourself in order to reap the highest profit margin possible.

In the long run, all weak economies get healthier… eventually. As a professional Salesperson, you can’t afford to wait. You must do the best you can with what you have today, and when the overall economic picture brightens, your sales will soar accordingly.

An Evolved Economy Business Makes It Simple to Make Money

There’s a tried and true maxim in business – to make more money you have to 1) find more customers – ie make more sales 2) retain more customers – because the cost to acquire a new customer is usually higher than the cost to keep an existing customer 3) increase your margins – in other words, raise your prices so that the gap between what something costs you and what you sell it to your customer for is greater and 4) control expenses – ie, spend less. Only these 4 things can save your bottom line in a traditional business.

The problem is, most businesses don’t survive long enough to prove out the maxim. In fact a recent study, by S. Ghosh – a Senior Harvard Lecturer, published in the WSJ states that 95% of start-ups fail when failure is defined as failing to see the projected return on investment-say, a specific revenue growth rate or date to break even on cash flow.

The WSJ article was looking more at venture-backed companies and start-ups taking outside capital. But even considering traditional small businesses, doubtless you have heard the oft-cited statistics that 80% fail within the first five years – and it’s usually because of a lack of capital. In other words, they run out of money.

Now I want you to picture your first five years owning your own business using a different business model – that of the Evolved Economy. We know that for a franchise you might invest $20k up to $1 million or more to get started. We know if you attend college or university you could spend between $5000 to more than $50,000 per year for 4+ years. In the model based on the Evolved Economy, you can expect to invest just $1200 to start (and for those who are currently facing really tough times, it is possible to start for half as much!), pay as little as $75/week in overhead, be able to earn money in your first 24 hours, have an in-demand high-quality and consumable product, hit close to break-even in your first 30 days in operation, pass break-even and speed into profitability in as little as 2-5 months, and within 5 years enjoy unparalleled earnings opportunity. It’s like receiving a model airplane with a set of instructions to put it together. Only this is describing a particular method of doing business. The business plan is written for you and you follow it precisely.

Not only that but as a business owner and investor generating residual income, you can sustain this business for as many decades as you live and pass it on as a legacy to your children or grandchildren because you will have built a financial wall around your family – something they will thank you for during unsettled and challenging economic times. And you do this regardless of your education, experience, background, race, religion, or geographic location.

How is that possible, you ask? How can it be so simple to make money in an Evolved Economy business? And is it guaranteed?

Well, let me walk you through the exact path to wealth with the company I have partnered with, keeping in mind that the system is in place to pay you but you alone are responsible for your results. As a business owner, only you are accountable for the hours you put in and the efficiency and effectiveness that yield results. When you follow the system, you get rewarded.

Because I am a business owner using the model of the Evolved Economy, I can comment based on my own business experience. For instance, using this model you could partner with a global company whose product just happens to be super nutrition and skincare targeting weight loss, healthy aging, and energy & performance – a 12 year old company (that’s important – they have survived and thrived way beyond the 5-year mark!) that is in so much momentum they created 19 millionaires in the first 8 months of 2014.

Here is the system you will follow that will have you smiling because it is so simple to make money – and feel great, be of service, and contribute to others.

Who likes Bonuses and appreciates Promotions? When you share this amazing super-nutrition with two people in one week, my partner company will recognize and acknowledge your efforts, will promote you, and will pay you $50. To jumpstart you and applaud you for hitting the ground running, when you share with 2 people in the first two days, you receive an additional $50 Crystal Consultant Bonus.

DPIB’s: We are Business Builder’s and we recognize the tremendous opportunity represented in being able to begin a business-in-a-box for about $1200; $1099 plus tax + shipping, actually. When you make a conscious, deliberate commitment to reach out to other business builders and share with two people who follow your lead – by jumping in with both feet and also enrolling with the Business Builder Pak – my partner company will pay you $600. So now you have $700 cash back within 7 days of starting your new business! My partner company calls this “You plus Two.”

That means that for a net of just $400 you receive over $1400 worth of product and marketing materials – that’s like getting a 70% discount!! Plus you replace over 100 meals, you have product to share with friends, and a wide array of products to sample that target weight loss, energy & performance, skin care, and healthy aging. Additionally you receive free membership that entitles you to back-end systems and you receive freeinternational membership. This gives you the ability to instantly launch a global business. Savvy investors want to make sure their market extends beyond their hometown and preferably beyond their region or their domestic market.

Remember, all the regulatory and logistic hurdles have already been cleared FOR you at no additional cost to you. Yes, that’s priceless! You get to do business in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mainland China, Colombia, Singapore, and soon in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Who do you know who has a friend or relative living in one of these countries?

Now, when you explain to your two new business builders that they can receive $700 cash back just for sharing this profoundly powerful, exquisitely simple, low risk, low barrier to entry, done for you, business-in-a-box system with unique and patented consumable products in a high demand global market with two people, you will receive more acknowledgement for your service to others, a promotion to Manager, and a bonus of $250. Yes, that means you have just started your own international business in the Evolved Economy and within the first 30 days you are only out of pocket $150. My partner company calls this “Them Plus Two.”

What other business can you start for as little as $1200 and arrive within $150 of break-even in just 30 days? Not only that, but you are actively laying the foundation for long-term residual income.

If you have ever read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series, you know that you don’t want to be an Employee and you don’t want to be Self-Employed or a Specialist because in these 2 quadrants you pay the most taxes (so you keep the least amount of money for yourself) and you trade time for money.

You DO want to be a Business Owner (“B”)- which you will be when you own your own business in the Evolved Economy – and you want to be an Investor (“I”) because B’s and I’s pay the least amount in taxes and I’s create or invest in assets that produce cash flow for themselves even when they are on vacation or asleep! That’s precisely why we partner with a company whose model builds us residual income.

There is a company you could have the opportunity to partner with that has 18 ways for you to produce income which is what will help you hit break even and sail way past it within as little as 5 weeks. You could plan to make $5000 in 5 weeks or you could plan to make $10,000 in 6 months. Both are 100% possible with our simple system to make money.

More importantly, however, is that while you are building you are laying the foundation to make revenue; our partner company has two significant ways for you to build revenue. It is this one-two punch and powerful combination that will set you up in a simple way to earn as much as $27,000 per week which is $1.4 million per year.

It’s so simple you’ll want to keep sharing the good news!

We would be honored to have you choose to co-create an intelligent business. To learn how to get started, contact the person who referred you to this article.

If you found it independently and wish to know more, all my contact information is in the “resource” section. There’s no time like the present and the most successful entrepreneurs take action promptly – here’s to your commitment to action right now!

The U.S. Economy Faces A Long Recovery Period

Unemployment will continue to be a major obstacle facing economic recovery for years to come. The confusion and deception increases dissatisfaction for millions of American who fight to survive at this point. This feature is in direct conflict with what we should know about the cultural characteristics of a pure successful business. A business in today’s economy is predominantly a flat organization with quick decision-making, where risk taking is encouraged and failure is merely education.

Congress continually extended unemployment benefits to incredibly long, unprecedented amounts. This created a consequence of said action and added to our enormous deficit. A good percentage of the unemployed populations have simply given up seeking a job now, because the job market is waterlogged. In many instances, people simply were not laid off from their jobs. Those positions no longer exist at all.

Entire sectors of skill sets are not considered necessary now by companies because they are either too expensive to keep on the payroll, or they have downsized to the point of not being able to retool back up to their prior levels of production where those skills are needed again. The people with those skill sets are now finding that they literally have no qualifications or are overqualified for part-time work and cannot find anything in their sector anymore.

As this number of unemployed (or even the “working unemployed”) increases, so too does the increased need for longer unemployment. Whether or not this is needed as a social program is not debatable at this point; it is here and this is the current state of things. However, here is the catch with unemployment: you have to pay back your unemployment when you finally do get work or reach the termination time for your benefits. This leads to a further drain on whatever meager pay these folks can get.

Therefore, in the case of unemployment, it created a feedback loop, which caused Congress to, undoubtedly, stop paying unemployment benefits. This action will further create a short-term drain whereby other programs might need to be downsized or nixed altogether, as well as help perpetuate more in the job market to give up.

The U.S. also has been artificially keeping the cost of inflation down by printing more money, while the government buys down the inflation cost. Remember the 1990s? Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and former President Bill Clinton, even though jobs were plentiful and the economy appeared healthy, were concerned if interest rates were raised, would it affect the economy.

A properly managed economy works on checks and balances, and those balances are during the good times when you raise the cost of inflation, such as; interest rates which controls the rate of growth by slowing it down so that sound decisions can be made and eliminate taking unnecessary risks. Then, should there be a downturn in the economy, due to those risks that were not taken, is not as severe while a slight reduction in interest rates will restore confidence and the economy gets back on track.

However, the U.S. economy is being managed today by two previous events: The Great Depression and the high interest rates brought on in the 1970s. Think about all we have heard about in the past year is the Great Depression. In addition, the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were nothing but high interest rates. The Federal Reserve is playing on our fears of these two events (brainwashing), as a means to get us to go along with their agenda, which has resulted in one catastrophic event after another in regards to the financial health of the United States.

We have been programmed during the good times to spend, spend, spend, and take out more credit, when in fact, during good times, both professionally and personally, we should actually be more frugal and during the bad times increase our spending so business expansion can balance things out and minimize the impact of our economy.

It is a well-known fact that all truly successful people set goals. If hard-working Americans who are struggling right now wish to be more successful than others, then all goals must be realistic, short term, measurable and obtainable within the bounds of our own God-given perception.