On Wednesday I wrote a post entitled Doom and gloom? Share your views! I was pleased to get an interesting mix of comments, and a few people emailed me as they wished to remain anonymous.
The results weren’t quite what I expected, and I’ve tried to roughly group them into categories.
45% of you felt positive about what’s happening.
25% were more or less neutral; things weren’t great but you were getting along.
30% were concerned, struggling or in trouble.
Note that the data sample was very small – there were 16 comments on the blog and four emails. Thank-you to all who responded for giving me such a nice round figure to work with – perfect for a Friday morning. But let’s assume that this is more or less representative, at least for the purpose of this blog entry.
My original post mentioned that I was fed up with all the doom and gloom, so I was pleasantly surprised that 45% of the feedback was positive.
A number of you have been positively affected by the increase in the US Dollar exchange rate, but this raises the interesting question of how current sales compare with sales before the Dollar started falling?
But the best news of all came through email. Four companies wrote to let me know that their sales are great right now. Better still, two of them have seen record months since the start of the year, and one of them missed beating their previous record by a whisker! Note that two out of the four are clients of SoftwarePromotions – thereby proving that 50% of all successful software companies work with our company. Right?
Our company’s experience has been that consumer products are more likely to struggle right now, yet a number of respondents have seen the exact opposite.
So what conclusions can we draw from all of this?
The first and most obvious point is that it’s not all doom and gloom at all. Forget the precise economic semantics; things have been bad for some time now. And while there are plenty of individuals and businesses suffering great hardships, plenty are surviving, plenty are doing quite well, and some are even thriving.
Secondly, the ramifications of the recession are complex. People and businesses are in theory spending less money, but why are the shopping malls as busy as ever during the weekends, and why are some companies (10% of the respondents!) thriving during these difficult times? Remember that a recession is a vague term, and contrary to what you might read in the news, each recession is different.
None of us know what lies ahead. We can only prepare to the best of our abilities. But there’s never been a more important time to be seen.