Waiting Game Can Prove Costly
In our last post “What are We Going to Do About It?” we mentioned that many of the owners and executives who participate in NAPL State of the Industry research aren’t waiting on the economy to turn things around—to make business better. And judging by the latest economic data and prospects going forward, they would have a long wait if they were. GDP rose at just a 1.5% clip in the second quarter, hardly the kind of performance that’s going to significantly propel business. The latest consensus from Blue Chip Economic Indicators has GDP rising just 2.2% for all of 2012, and for the first time growth for 2013 is expected to be even lower, at just 2.1%.
There are no signs that the headwinds restraining economic growth—uncertainty, lack of confidence among consumers and business alike, added difficulties obtaining credit, and lower demand overseas—are dissipating. And regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election, don’t expect a robust economy to develop overnight. With a lackluster economic backdrop and an overall challenging business environment, taking a wait-and-see attitude on business initiatives can be tempting, but it can also prove costly. Unless we’re prepared for recovery by in effect creating our own recovery, we run the risk of being left behind.
Just what are companies doing to improve business? More than four-fifths (82.9%) of the companies participating in the recently published NAPL State of the Industry Report,Tenth Edition are taking a new approach to marketing. Approaches such as:
• Transforming the company website to an interactive resource.
• Pursuing email marketing with landing pages and pURLs.
• Revamping their direct mail to be more personalized and targeted.
• Making greater use of social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
More than four-fifths (80.9%) of the participants also are striving to offer solutions not commodities by establishing a deeper relationship with clients, learning more about their business, and becoming more valuable to them. The aim: advance from a supplier to “a position as a team member” who can help clients communicate more effectively with their clients.
A more complete discussion of these and other actions such as building a new labor force, growing by adding new services/entering new markets, and growing through M&A can be found in our State of the Industry Report, (www.napl.org). Members should be receiving their complimentary copy shortly. In our increasingly competitive and complex industry, simply aiming to ride out a recession and then grow along with an industry upturn is no longer a winning option.
Andy Paparozzi Joe Vincenzino