What are the 6 Biggest Challenges and Changes Facing You in the New Economy?
We've all experienced the gigantic shift that has taken place inconveniently during the biggest economic downturn since the Great Recession. I've identified six big changes that challenge those who resist change. How would you rank order them in terms of the impact on your business?
1) A new generation of promotional products buyers have moved in and they don't buy the way old ones did. Meet the new boss—not the same as the old boss, as a rocker might sing. These buyers are digital natives. They grew up with a screen in their face or in their hand. The television set was their babysitter. They interacted with the screen for as long as they can remember. They have always had information at their fingertips. They pick up a mouse instead of a phone. Those who have made their living picking up the phone, picking up the tab at the restaurant or the drinks at the 19th hole need to reinvent themselves. Quick!
2) The banks got us into this mess. While they didn't suffer long due to the largess of us taxpayers and the congresspeople they own, the suffering continues for small businesses that depend on credit to even out the cashflow. The time was when the small distributor could use the collateral of home equity as the basis for the business line of credit. What happens when home equity dries up and uncollateralized isn't in your banker's vocabulary? Suppliers are feeling the credit crunch as well. With shrinking lines of credit, inventories shrink. Fast turnaround promises fly out the window when there is no product on the shelf. Reliable, quick turnarounds disappear. Deadlines are missed. In an industry where so much value is directly related to time and a missed delivery means loss of value or loss of client, this is a problem.