How’s YOUR Economy

I’ve been following a thread on another forum on the topic of "the economy".  We’ve all seen the news stories.  Chicken Little was right!  The sky is falling!  The economy is in the tank!  No wonder my business is down.  While some dealers complain that their business is down because of the economy, an amazing number of them report that their business is up, in spite of the economy.

Here’s a basic fact:  The (capital E) Economy is made up of thousands of individual (small e) economies.  In general, if the economy is on an even keel, some people’s business is up, some people’s business is down, and some people’s business is the same.  Even in the Great Depression of the ’30s, there were people making money. 

We know there are certain sectors that are having a rough time right now, particularly new home sales.  We also know that new home sales drive other purchases.  A lot of furniture and appliance sales are the direct result of the sale of a new home.  On the other hand, if I put off buying a new home, how much more likely am I to buy a new flat panel TV? 

Dealers often ask their suppliers the age-old question, "How’s your business?"  The unpolitically correct answer might be "What difference does it make?  How does someone’s business on the other side of the country affect you?"  The more politically correct answer, and the most truthful answer would be "We have some dealers whose sales are up and we have some whose sales are down.  What can I do to help you stay in the first group?"

Going out on a limb here, I’m going to suggest that if you’re reading this blog, looking for ideas to help your business, then you’re in the elite group.  You’re working ON your business, not in your business.  (catchy, huh?)  You spend your days looking for ways to improve your business, not looking for excuses.  Is business harder when the news media are saturating your customers with doom and gloom?  Of course it is.  But nobody ever said it was going to be easy to be the best. 

There are all kinds of resources to help you increase your sales and profits.  The Internet is loaded with information.  We list some good sources in our "Useful Links" list on the left of this page. 

There are a number of good books that are full of ideas.  Bob and Linda Negin’s book, Marketing Your Retail Store in the Internet Age is excellent.  John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing is another one.  The E Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber is another good choice.  You wouldn’t want to go to a doctor or a dentist who didn’t keep up with the latest developments in their field.  Our profession is no different.  We need to be aware of what’s new and be reminded of the tried and true.

And don’t forget your suppliers.  Your sales representative is in contact with the most successful dealers (and the other kind, too).  He (or she) knows what’s working and what isn’t.  If (s)he’s not volunteering the information, ask!  You’re partners in the process of getting the merchandise from the factory to the consumer.  When you’re successful, your suppliers are successful.


Forget the Economy and focus on your own economy and you’re always going to be successful.

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