The Big Change!
The United States was doing great through most of the late 80’s and 90’s but in the year 2000 things started to change.
I began to notice people buying things they couldn’t afford; bigger houses, expensive cars and exotic vacations. This was all because people could get credit in new ways; no money down, interest only payments and a longer time to finance. At the same time I noticed more imports coming into our country and higher ongoing trade deficits. It was all lining up, everything was going to change and it was going to change dramatically.
When I sought out sources to question my observations or concerns, they went unanswered, I guess because people were too busy enjoying their new found credit or their inflated stock values or real estate worth to really see concern.
Well, we all know what happened, the market crashed, real estate dived, huge increases in business failures and a growing unemployment rate. What a change!
Big Problems from the Big Change:
• There are less people in many markets and fewer credit-worthy businesses to sell to.
• The population is getting older and their needs have changed.
• Total market dollars have declined in most geographical areas.
• Competition is growing faster, which dilutes sales dollars that are available.
• High unemployment will continue for years – reducing disposable income for a large percentage of your customers.
• People get their information from more and more sources making it difficult to know how to reach them and having enough money to fund those sources.
• Higher insurance costs and taxes reduce disposable income for your middle to higher income customers.
• People have less disposable income, less to spend.
• People are more demanding, more for less.
• People are smarter because they “Google” competitors and brands before they buy.
• People are under more stress, so they are more difficult to reason with.
• People are doing more tasks and using more media, so it is harder to get their attention.
• People require more facts to make a decision because they have to justify the cost usually to others.
• Fewer people have to perform more tasks to make a profit.
• Changes in government and business forms take more time to complete and are slowing down jobs.
• If sales growth is not controlled, failure in quality occurs.
• Constantly changing rules and learning new technology takes more employee time away from daily regular work.
• Skilled, committed, motivated workers are harder to find.
• If you don’t expand capacity you can’t grow to the next level.
Banks and Lending Institutions Changed
• Lending Institutions require more proof in the ability to pay back loans.
• Banks require more and better ratio reports to continue or increase operating lines
• Banks require more valuable assets especially cash or higher quality accounts receivables to approve more loans.
• Banks require better control of quality inventory to grant more loans.
A Marketing System is Required to Grow in this New Economy
This new economy has changed so effective marketing has to change as well. The days of traditional marketing have been replaced with search engine optimization, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It is a challenge just to keep up with all the new technology and more importantly keeping up with all of the ways your customer is receiving information.
What worked before, may not be working now.
What is working for you? What isn’t? We want to back our research with your comments…please let us know in the comment section below. Questions? Click here to email us or call 989-791-2475 Ext. 13 and ask for Gary.
Find out what is working now in part 2 of our blog series: Big Problems Solved