Business Growth & Strategy

A Microcosm of the Economy

So, what do you believe? Is the economy coming back? Most economists say yes,  but slowly. Most businesses say maybe-some are seeing more positive signs than  others. Most people say not yet. However, the challenge may be that the  “recovered” economy doesn’t look much like the robust economy of yesterday.

Some businesses will never recover. They lost too much ground, cut too deep  and failed to make the necessary change to their business model to adjust and  survive.

Many types of jobs may never come back. Smart businesses found ways to  improve productivity, lowering the labor costs permanently. And other companies  used technology to transform business, changing the job qualifications for many  types of hourly jobs, from receptionist to medical records to manufacturing  technicians who need to be trained on new equipment and processes. Unemployment  may stay higher than the traditional norm as people have to be retrained to take  advantage of the types of jobs offered in the new economy, and that takes  time.

But there may be some really encouraging news and reason to get serious about  reviving our businesses. So let’s take a look at the news in one city in America  on a given day and read the “flavor” of the economy.

Which city? How about Nashville, TN? A great city with lots of personality,  strong brand and a well connected business community. Their major industries are  well known: country music and healthcare; yet, with a diverse business  composite, they don’t experience the severity of peaks and valleys as many areas  of the country. That doesn’t mean they didn’t feel the heat of the recession.  Where are they today?

Here is what is happening in the news in Nashville:

  • Asurion is pursuing an expansion of its corporate headquarters, having grown  rapidly since moving their HQ to Nashville from California.
  • Mars Petcare seeks expansion; doubling its footprint.
  • Recession may encourage retired nurses to come back to hospitals, helping  dissipate the nursing shortage. Net employment for hospitals is up 12% over this  time last year.
  • Big ticket item sales are up for items like cars and refrigerators (as  measured by sales tax collections), an indicator that new money is starting to  flow through businesses. The purchase of durable goods, such as automobiles, is  often one of the first indication of economic growth.
  • A new $25 million fund for small business loans is being created in  partnership between the state and private lenders.
  • Nearly half of the SBA lenders increased their loan volumes this month as a  result of the Small Business Jobs Act (survey: Terry and Associates)

Tomorrow, the news may not be as rosy. Recovery is not a linear path. Now is  the time for businesses to act. Growth is not going to be easy. Customers are  not going to just flock to you. Here is what is needed:

  • Selectively invest in your business.
  • Re-tool your strategy to respond to the new economy. Customers needs and  priorities are changing–they are open to new solutions that are faster, better  and simpler.
  • Get granular-gather specific data on your market and your customer to see  what specific gaps there are in meeting needs.
  • Focus your business; manage resources by prioritizing what is important and  stopping what is being done purely out of habit.
  • Inspire your people to serve as a collective brain trust, together moving  forward faster.

–Article written by Margaret Reynolds of Reynolds Consulting, LLC

Reynolds Consulting, LLC specializes in helping leaders create and maintain  high performance companies.

(News was taken from the Nashville Business Journal on 10/29/10).

Category: Business Growth & Strategy

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Vistage Staff About the Author: Vistage Staff

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  1. Bjohnson

    December 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    This blog was written by Margaret Reynolds of Reynolds Consulting, LLC

  2. Bjohnson

    December 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    This blog was written by Margaret Reynolds of Reynolds Consulting, LLC

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