Your Business and The New Economic Normal

Like consumers and employees, business owners understand that the economy has presented them with a ‘new normal’.  That new normal is comprised of serious challenges…and…wonderful opportunities.  

If you own a business, you recognize that it represents a substantial portion of your total net worth.  That said, here are several trends you may wish to consider as you chart your business strategy.  We’ll discuss four of them today. 

 1.  Consumers have changed their financial habits.  They are saving more, prefer cash instead of credit, are pressed for time, and will shop extensively.  Said differently, consumers are seeking greater value and customization whether building a home, choosing a new computer, or buying a latte.  The implication for business owners is a need to be creative in re-engineering their business and sales models.  

2.  From finance to politics to business, the role of women is on the rise!  This creates tremendous opportunities for business owners.  However, despite controlling more than twenty-five percent of the world’s wealth, many women feel ignored or even condescended to.  We addressed this issue in our February 17th blog.  So, how do women feel they are being treated by your company?  If you’re not sure, take a long, hard look at how you relate to this important market segment.  Examine your marketing strategy, sales processes, and training and rewarding of staff.  

3. Increasingly, consumers will visit you first on-line.  This is due to growing time pressure and an increasing desire to maximize value.  More than ever…it’s critical to impress consumers – to wow them – on their first visit to your venue.  

4.  The rising economic tide is not lifting all boats.  The U. S. economy is recovering slowly…but not uniformly.  Certain luxury items are selling well as are bargain items at discount stores.  Unfortunately, the mid-priced market, where many businesses operate, is weak.  This trend may continue for years.  If your business targets the middle market, you may need to re-evaluate your marketing strategy with a goal of convincing your “buyers” that your products and services represent significant value. 

In all probability, these trends are here to stay, and each has the potential to profoundly impact your business.  If you haven’t already done so, consider their role in your strategic planning process.

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