I am refusing to participate in the recession.
You know, for a few days after I read this I thought it made a lot
of sense, don’t knuckle under to a sour state of mind, project a
positive vibe and all that.
But as time comes and goes and the customers pretty much don’t, I’m
feeling more that this new state of things(how’s that for
non-negativity? I coulda said recession) is very real and may be
unfortunately the way its going to be for a while. How long? Don’t
ask me, I only work here. I’m told its worst here in the northeast.
But these things roll around the country so other regions may feel it
more acutely soon.
So, what to do, what to do?
My biz motto is to always serve your customers’ best interests.
Obviously their interests are changing. They may change several times
before things settle down. I think styles may move to more sedate and
classic, showy stuff will be much harder to move, at any price. But
some clients will swoop up the wild buy on glitz. At the moment I’m
sitting on too much glitz, mostly paid for glitz. It needs to become
cash. I’m thinking maybe divest myself of fancy styles and restock in
a softer look. Sentimental pieces may become more important as we
look to soothe truly battered consumer confidence. That means things
like add-a-pearls, birthstone jewelry, engraved goods, basic but
stylish chains. Things that are very personal in a positive way.
Keepsakes that don’t bust the budget. If someone knows how to
research popular styles from the depression it might give us all a
clue. Modernize the basic parameters.
I’ve already heard my share of local horror stories, people losing
their savings, their jobs, their pensions. It seems to cut a wide
swath through the classes. There are probably some bright spots,
niches that will still be healthy. The trouble with being overly
niched is that it only takes a shock to that group to cause you big
trouble because you have no alternate sources of customers. Being
diversified is good. Look at all those victims in the Maddoff thing.
Smart people went against conventional wisdom and put all their eggs
in one basket for the promise of maximized returns. Maybe the way to
maximize is to diversify.
The challenge as I see it, is to figure out what specifically is
going to work as far as goods and services go. Resetting and
redesigning allow the customer to invest in something they hopefully
still have some faith in…themselves. Lowering price points on new
goods while still maintaining some respectable level of quality is a
challenge worth pursuing. Difficult though.
Another lesson buried in the maelstrom is that of debt. Who’s in the
most precarious position? Those who are burdened with debt and
suddenly face a downsizing of their income. Personal or commercial.
Cashflow problems give you ulcers. I know that feeling very well.
What I refuse to participate in is ulcers.
I dunno though, I’m just wondering aloud. I’m no business maven. If
I was I’d have been retired by now.