State of the Economy
Posted: January 16, 2009
I read this week that one of the nation's Federal Reserve Bank presidents predicts that the economy will slowly start to recover during the second half of this year. That means most small business owners will be faced with even more challenges over the next several months. But there has to be some companies that are thriving despite the recession.
During tough economic times, "defensive" stocks - like food companies and pharmaceutical firms, usually do well. After all, people need to eat and we all get sick at one time or another. So, locally, grocery stores and medical clinics appear to be busy.
Since there are not a lot of new vehicles being sold in this economy, I have spoken with at least four area service stations who told me that their technicians have never been busier. I suppose those who were once in the market for a new or used car or truck have put off their purchase plans and have decided to fix what they now drive.
Similarly, with a horrible market for sales of existing homes, a number of fellow home owners have decided to remodel and improve their current living environment rather than try to put their house up for sale. Home improvement chain stores and related retail operations are probably not breaking any sales records, but it would appear that there is the potential for a good second quarter for many of these operations.
Although it could have been the result of the Christmas season, three owners of computer retail outlets told me that business has been brisk. However, they all stated that the real test will come over the next few months.
Salespeople in a variety of other business sectors are struggling for the most part. However, some say they are doing as well as can be expected, depending on the product or service being sold. All 10 business associates who sell for a living agreed that presentations are being refined and creativity is a must.
I heard a radio news report last week that highlighted the booming business of fortune telling. Apparently, when times are the toughest, people look for answers to what the future brings. I called a local fortune teller and asked how her business is doing. She said she knew it was me that was calling her (caller ID, of course) and told me that she had a record month in December. She added that most of her new business focuses on those clients who are concerned about the economy. Then she said she thinks the economy will get better by the second half of this year. How does she know that?