Guest Post – Business in the New Economy

This is a guest post by my friend Stuart Bain, check him out at economy started tanking about a year ago, and the brunt of the downturn started a few months ago. I hear a lot of griping and complaining about this “new economy” and the impact. I hear it from the news, media outlets, and even people I know personally. Well, guess what… get over it. All of the media doom and gloom crap can be written off to sensationalism. Take, for example, the stock market. If you pulled out your money because it crashed, you’re an idiot. You’re buying high and selling low. Get your money back in the market, ride out the storm, and take advantage of next year’s rebound. History has shown that in the year or two following a crash, the market soars. Get back in now if you want to do what you’re supposed to do which is “buy low, sell high.”As far as business and the job market are concerned, if you’re worth half your salt, you’ll do fine despite the recent economic woes. If you’ve been skating along, riding on the coattails of others, and can’t adapt to change, chances are you are going to feel quite a negative impact. When you do feel it, please try to keep your negativity to yourself. If you find yourself in a hole, financial or otherwise, you have several options available to you:

  1. Do nothing. Stop everything to just sit there and pout. Complain about your situation long and hard. Wait for someone to wander along and take pity on you. Perhaps you’ll get a bailout from some benevolent government transfer payment program.
  2. Keep doing what you’re doing. Pretend nothing is wrong. Go on about your daily business and wither “on the vine” without taking into account any of the changes you need to make to sustain profitability and long term viability.
  3. Barrel forward. Pick up extra work. Find new ways to engage your employees. Heck, go dig ditches if you have to. Make it happen. Become the positive change you and others need to weather the storm. Create opportunity and wealth. Emerge victorious. Be the hero. Lead your tribe.

The “end of the world as we know it!” (props to R.E.M.) zealots paint current economic woes as permanent and ignore the fact that this isn’t the first time this has happened. Recessions, depressions, and other negative economic downturns happen regularly. I think one of the keys to surviving them is get out of them quickly, and that won’t happen if you sit idly by and watch. Pick a direction, set a course, and start rowing. The longer you sit and whine about it, the quicker you’ll go absolutely nowhere.As for the U.S. auto industry and the sweeping economic impact it will have if it fails? I think the failure of the U.S. auto industry has been coming for quite some time. Paying union workers to sit in a room and watch TV, read books, and play cards all day is NOT a way to run a business. Right now you’re at option 1 in hopes of being able to do option 2. Screw that. Go with option 3. You should have told the UAW to shove it a long time ago (hey Atlas… time to shrug). Declare bankruptcy now and unload the UAW burden. Your business model needs to be restructured to be competitive and there’s no time like the present to actually get it done. The re-organization under bankruptcy protection is just a means of making that happen with or without the loans from Uncle Sam.

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