Categories for The Economy

How To Throw A Recession Era Company Holiday Party

December 1, 2008 9:50 am Published by

Today I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the upcoming holiday season and that most complex event: the company holiday party that coincides with an economic meltdown.
Despite the weak economy, or, perhaps, because of it, most companies in the United States plan to carry on with their holiday parties. As a leader in attendance at this event, it’s important to strike a tone that is festive without appearing to lose sight of the larger context. Remember that even in this non-office setting all eyes will be on you — perhaps even more so because your behavior will be seen as the “real” you.
Company holiday parties remain one of the weirdest hybrids of work and play that I have ever (more…)

Sound Advice For Uncertain Times

November 20, 2008 1:14 pm Published by

While fear and panic are common reactions (understandable ones, too) they will only hurt your business in the long run. It’s true that long established companies have disappeared… banks and other financial institutions are struggling… the 2008 holiday shopping season forecasts are gloomy… layoffs are expected and 401K’s have lost so much of their value. In the face of all this, it’s hard for business owners to be optimistic.

A recent blog post by Matthew Barnes of Promo Marketing Magazine has some fantastic advice for all of us during these uncertain economic times, and it’s this…

My advice to everyone is simple. Stop. Take a deep breath. And then, well, keep on going. This is not the time to panic or freeze up. The truth is, on both sides of the equation, there is still business to be done.

Businesses who stay focused and will prevail against the current economic pressures, keep a watchful eye (more…)

Why We Aren't Headed For Another Great Depression

October 22, 2008 12:25 pm Published by
The media has made comparisons of our current economic troubles to the Great Depression of the 1930s. A recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle refers to a survey that claims 60% of Americans think that we could deal with another Depression again. Anyone who has a family member or friend old enough to have lived through those hard days will tell you how bad it was. Raging unemployment. Massive defaults of mortgages. Households cutting expenditures. Trouble starting in the U.S. and spreading through the world.
Gregg Easterbrook, a Brookings Institution fellow in government and economic studies is quick to point out what’s different today, “Goods and services are plentiful; the price of gas is falling; ATMs are working. People are not losing jobs left and right.”
All this, in spite of the constant barrage of economic updates the media is only too happy to give out. Surprisingly whatever mess there is on Wall Street doesn’t seem to have made it down to Main Street. And this is a significant difference from the collapse of the 1930s, where millions were thrust into poverty.

Now Is NOT The Time To Sacrifice Your Brand

October 18, 2008 12:22 pm Published by


The roller coaster that is our economy is hard to ignore  not that the mainstream media will let us. And while the news is unsettling, unless you’ve invested a fortune in subprime mortgages or ignored sound financial principles… you probably haven’t seen much of the hype play out in your own life. Of course bad news gets ratings and attention… fear compels. I just wish the anchors weren’t so… gleeful as they report the latest numbers at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00.
What should encourage us all as we try not to let the mainstream media get us down is that there are some very smart, discriminating people who see a dark financial climate as full of opportunity. We’ve mentioned Warren Buffett in an earlier post as an example of someone who isn’t panicked by a downturn. Now Ed Roach of Small Business Branding has a timely piece on standing up to the temptation of cutting things that make the difference for your brand during the lean times.

Bad News For Big Retail

October 15, 2008 12:20 pm Published by
If you’re a retail business, you’re probably feeling the tightening of the economy pretty well by now. Sales reports from the largest retailers (Target, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Saks and Nordstrom) are more bad than good… and there’s a gloomy forecast for the coming holiday shopping season. Both sales and customer traffic are off according to the reports released earlier this week. But then with Katie Couric and friends telling us all how bad things are, it’s no wonder no one is out shopping.
story in USA Today gives all the facts and figures, and relates the obvious, retailers are worrying about the holiday shopping season as a result of what’s happening in the economy. The bailout doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot to free up all that credit… Wall Street is volatile, dropping 1,400 points in the last 5 trading days… world markets are reacting… gas is dropping in some places, but so are the temperatures, making prices to heat the home a concern for everyone. 
“This is not a significant comfort going into the holiday season,” said Ken Perkins, president of research company Retail Metrics“Everybody across the board is feeling it. Even discounters are going to have a tough go. Consumers are going to tighten their purse strings even more.”
The analysts are worried the retail slowdown could escalate as the credit crisis filters through the economy. They have reason to be.

Off Topic But Still So Important

September 26, 2008 12:07 pm Published by


I must apologize for going off topic, but with the financial crises on Wall Street all over the news… many small business owners (not to mention the rest of us) are wondering about the financial health of the banks, credit unions and other financial institutions we do business with every day. And while the current crisis didn’t hit the small business sector directly as yet, economic worries and fears over the fuel costs of the coming winter are likely to hit consumer confidence hard.
So… what happens if your bank fails, or is taken over?
In the case of a business (or any loan really) loan, you’ll continue to make payments, dealing with either the FDIC or the new owner of the institution. If you have $100,000 (or less) in deposits per taxpayer ID, the money is insured by the FDIC. You can visit the FDIC website to learn more about how this insurance works, and why you don’t need to panic if your bank fails. In the 75 years the FDIC has been in existance, no depositor has lost a penny of insured savings.