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    17 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2008 9:13 AM by intechspecial

    Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?

    designer Tracker
      Hello, well - - -the 1st QTR of 2008 is almost history. How did your business do or how do you predict you will do? It might be a private or sensitive topic of conversation for some, but we all hear so much about a recession and it is scary. Everytime you log on to CNN or AOL that's what many of the headlines seem to be about. Quite a few of my retail friends have told me their business is really slow and sales are down. Some people are having special meetings and brainstorming what they can do and are pulling out all the stops to revive their sluggish companies. Now, remember too.....success doesn't always have to be about sales, you can actually have a business and reach milestones or have various accomplishments, too!

      I was pleasantly surprised to have average & consistent sales in January, February and March for my Web site business. I seem to be holding my own, as they say. I actually did much better than I thought I would, when last December my sales were non-existent for the holidays and that was a bleak period for me and odd. I've been really busy and working hard and networking, so I think that paid off and produces opportunities. I feel we are fortunate to have this SBOC and Linked In has been amazing. What about you?
        • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          How's BUSINESS?? GREAT.
          This is Tax Season.
          8 Days a week, 25 Hours a day (only time off to answer B of A questions)
          O Yes, April 1st (April Fools Day)
          Then quarterly payroll taxes and 6 month extensions.
          No complaints, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            I'll admit, my business is little slow. With apologies to Jimmy Buffett:

            Some people claim
            That the recession's to blame,
            But I know it could be my fault.

            Hopefully we're not just "wasting away" -- but rather making good use of this time to strengthen our products, services, and relationships.
            • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
              Biz Online Adventurer
              Great question, Designer!

              First quarter results: the best quarter I've ever had! Hired two new employees, business is growing, and I'm very optimistic about the rest of the year.

              Since our company does internet marketing, the last thing a business wants to do in a business slow down or recession is to cut back on advertising. That's where we fit in, and I don't see it changing.

              The difference and uniqueness of our services that we provide our clients (search engine optimization and pay per click advertising management) is that we provide PROIFITABLE services with measurable results. If something works, you will spend money on it, and if it doesn't, you don't!

              Best of luck for the rest of the year!
              Cliff Koraska
                • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                  RongDesign Adventurer
                  Hey Designer,

                  I have to agree with Biz Online. I own a website design company that has a strictly online presence. As far as local sales, yes, I have seen a drop in sales. As far as national sales; never better. I couldn't ask for a better first quarter.

                  Just in case though, I did pick up a part time job as a webmaster for one company. If things start to catch up to the Internet Marketing field, I may need to fall back on that.

                  Good Luck,
                  Dave Moore
                    • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                      Iwrite Pioneer
                      Business is actually starting to pick up for me. I might have to accelerate my schedule for going full time. I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to advertising, meaning I try to build a campaign that provides the most reach for my customers both on and off line. We are seeing some great results from direct mail and radio.

                      I am working to make sure it continues.
                  • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                    AppleGraphics Adventurer
                    I have to say i am quite amazed at how well everyone seems to be doing when all the markers are saying we should be doing poorly, but I have to agree the first couple months this year have treated me quite well though I am hoping at least some of that is because of my efforts to market the company. Hopefully the rest of the year will continue this way.
                    • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                      LogoMotives Wayfarer
                      Historically, over my last 30 years as an independent graphic designer, when the economy is in trouble I have always experienced a jump in
                      my business. Businesses cutting back on in-house design departments
                      will outsource work to independent designers. Individuals who have been
                      laid off, or are concerned about losing their jobs, will often begin
                      new businesses during an economic downturn and will require the
                      services of a designer as well. Constant marketing during the good
                      times has always resulted in new clients coming my way when the economy
                      is less than ideal.

                      Jeff Fisher | Engineer of Creative Identity | Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
                      • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                        biosminer Newbie
                        I am a small mason contractor in Connecticut.Seven of the nine mason companys I am familiar with have nothing on their calender.There is a fair amount of tax dollar spending on huge multi million dollar projects.This will be a year to push most mason companys into extinction.Here you should be scheduled into summer by now.So you must grow like a weed and step into very big shoes or downsize back to the mom and pop world or get out.
                        This is only in part the fault of the economy.Masonry as a product has been under attack since the 70"s by architects.Since the mid 90"s the builders have tried to eliminate us from residentil homes and finally the suppliers have sold fake chimneys and fake fireplaces and pushed to move the landscaping work from mason built ,patios and walks of stone and brick,toward homeowner built concrete retaining block and pavers.Great work Guys!The second oldest proffession in the world is on its way out.
                          • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                            Iwrite Pioneer
                            I hope not! I grew up just down from the brickyard. (Boy, the southerner in me came out in that sentence) Everything in our neighbor in Columbia, SC was brick when it was first built.

                            I know you have tried a lot of things but I was wondering if you have gotten on the outdoor kitchen craze? It is huge here in Dallas. What if you started marketing your business as the go to people for great outdoor kitchens - create the craze or at least position yourself as if you did. Another thing would be to start educating homeowners in the difference between a real brick work and the new stuff. Go on the offensive - get the word out that you do quality masonry work and there is no substitute for it. Look at Pella Windows, Moen Faucets - people are willing to pay for quality or what they believe is quality.

                            I don't think you have to disappear, you just need to remind folks. Get with the local brick and stone company, I'm sure they aren't happy with this trend and will be open to help get the message out. I really think you have to educate the consumer, make them make the builders use real stone and fake. Just a thought.
                            • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                              Lighthouse24 Ranger

                              Biosminer, I was really surprised to read about your situation. I wonder how much of that is regional. Down here (south-central Texas), the occupation seems to be thriving. The workforce commission ranks job prospects over the next several years as "very good," and many local high schools offer it as a vocational program. In fact, they're telling students that a large number of working masons are nearing retirement, and saying that because about a third of them are self-employed, it is a great trade to learn if a young person wants to own his own business one day. With the exception of certain medical and a few retail occupations, one local employment study listed it as the most promising career that a non-college bound high school student could pursue.

                              Since "easy to build on" homesites are becoming limited, new residential construction here is incorporating more stone (especially natural cut) into both homes and extensive retaining walls. Brick and stone seem to be the dominant choice for decorative work on everything from walkways and bridges to office foyers and lobbies. Restorative work also seems to be huge here -- repairing or replacing the fronts and facades on older stores and buildings, for instance.

                              As you noted, "fake" and homeowner DIY solutions are popular -- but here, that's in part because a homeowner would never get a bid from anyone on a small residential job (if you want it done, you have to find a way to do it yourself). As Iwrite mentioned, homeowners down here are also on waiting lists for outdoor kitchens (which are not small jobs).

                              Anyway, it's amazing that such a contrast exists. I sincerely hope things pick up there for you soon!
                                • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                                  biosminer Newbie
                                  To";Lighthouse" and" I write",
                                  Connecticut has the same population it had since 1963.People leave this state because they can"t survive here.It is the highest or second highest income in the country depending on the day.I work around the richest town in the richest state in the richest country in the world.We also have the fastest growing income disparity in the country.,and maybe the world.Everything here for a crafrtsmen is about the low income worker servicing the high end customer.There isnt a large middle class dressing up their backyards.The average income for a family here is 56k but low income is 43k .We have a lovely guilded cage with a scrappy food dish.Our state capital is also insurance capital of the world(tons of income perhaps,but its average family income is slightly above 20k which is almost the national poverty line.This is our proudest city yet the 1 million dollar plus home market here is holding its own.We are an example of the future of this country.Clasic victorian and early european economics.
                                  I am over 50 and an expert in my field.I have tried to find employment elsewhere and find I am unskilled and to old.I must wait just a little longer until minimum wage pays better then masonry contractor and then I can leave this field.I cannot move as I am much to close to my family.
                                  Also be leary of government stats.Our state reports average income of a mason by multiplying prevailing wages times 40 hours times 50 weeks.That is 3 times over reality.Also 25% to 30% of masons are subcontractors because there is not enough money in the trade to pay workers comp and unemployment benefits.Here only licensed trades (heating,plumbing and electrical,etc.)can afford such luxerys.Painters landscapers carpenters all the deemed by insurance companys to be safe trades must suffer.So all the trades with high self employment do so because homeowners builders and contractors dont pay enough.As far as the future of trade workers?When the average family income in this country reaches 125k then the average family can afford todays housing costs.Otherwise there is no future in our time.Also the mexican is not afraid of the cold.I have seen groups chasing contractors pickups ont the highway in the morning.We also have parking areas where hundreds wait every morning.They void all laws even housing laws.We dont allow boys and girls to share bedrooms and we have limits of adults per household.They survive here by sticking 12 to 20 people in an apartment.Also dont be fooled as to who they work is the wealthy!!!! ! Not the poor.They are nannys and landscapers or work for cash for small contractors that serve the highend.They are not in the mainstream here yet.
                                  I have witnessed first hand what happens with global trade(we lost the textile industry in the 70"s)nothing replaced those jobs.We lost our major commercial building in the recession of 1989(and it never came back)We lost our middle class by 1995,and we recently have began to lose our upper middle class.These are the people that bought the 400k plus homes for the last 10 years.Everything here now relies on government spending or the wealthy.The wealthy are employing cheap mexicans and whites at less than legitamate prices. Building your mansion at the sq ft prices of a ranch house.Those that arent are paying the difference to slick builders that pocket the difference.I could go on and on but I have to go to work...
                              • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                                biosminer Newbie
                                patrick swayze..The movie called City of Joy..I think...the local crime Boss explains just whats happening in our economy.Hint "watch the chicken"
                                • Re: Ist QTR - Recession or not...How's BUSINESS?
                                  intechspecial Ranger
                                  1st QTR - I did better this quarter. Sales did increase by 25%. Business orders increased by 75%.

                                  Maybe I had better stop doing so much for free?

                                  No, I think I will keep doing the pro bono thing, as I enjoy keeping busy.

                                  I expect my 2nd quarter business orders will increase, sales will stay the same.


                                  Is this a strange way to do business? If the wheel doesn't seem to work, it might be best to square the edges, or re-invent the wheel with a better more efficient one.