11 November, 2008

Business Opportunities in a Recession

If you do not think you have a future then there is no need to plan for it. Many people that have not been challenged by life may find that not believing one has a future is an odd way of thinking. But what's more unusual is the fact that the majority that do believe they have a future do not plan for it.

Now that there is an economic downturn there is a noted increase in telephone calls coming to the Australian Chamber and to my own business from people seeking to sell something. I curiously ask them some questions to identify why I have become part of their target market and what becomes evident to me is that only now I have become a potential customer for them.

For some of the suppliers they are too late as I either have customer loyalty with existing suppliers, I am convinced the callers company can not perform, or I have already satisfied the need. A very few new callers succeed in concluding a contract as I am convinced of their quality and service level is worth the price.

During the good economic days there were suppliers like Aldaris that could not provide my business good service or quality for the price. Aldaris I kicked out of my business and because there was a good economic climate - Aldaris did not care that I rejected them. Baltkom is another company that treats its customers with disrespect. Baltkom charges customers for the days and weeks they are not connected by Baltkom. Viasat did not even have a service office for over a year.

The trend for these poor suppliers is that they concurrently use multiple ways to totally disrespect their customer. 1, they stop supplying, 2. They have penalty fees for a late payment, and 3. They report you to a credit agency. The option for these companies to improve service, price and quality to increase their customer base seems to be an effort they do not want to pursue.

So overall now there is much more opportunity in the market as people are not so willing to pay bills they do not agree with. Companies like Viasat and Baltkom have prepared the market for other companies like Star TV. Personally I have chosen SKY TV. Aldaris has already lost business to Cesu and other companies like K Rauta with a nazi styled attitude towards customers lose market share to companies like DEPO.

Customer loyalty should have been built up over the previous few years as should have been websites with not only other language options but have them fully functional. The 118 information centre that always hung up on English speaking people now has trouble signing up businesses, especially those businesses run by English speaking people.

I have websites I started over a year ago now hitting the top of the first Google page joining my websites already on the top of the first page of Google that I started 5 years ago. I gave a talk 2 years ago at a Latvian Tourism Development agency event attended by about 200 people. I said that it is near impossible for English speaking people to find information about the countryside of Latvia. I see nothing has been done to open walking tracks or to improve accessibility in English.

So if you do not think about your future then you will follow with your actions of doing very little with your life and less about your business. If you do think and act then there is a lot of opportunity in the market. Now is the time or improve or start new businesses and out smart your competition. The weak businesses are much more easy to identify when they are suffering so now is the time to do your best to do more and not less to win over their customers to your business.

If you are an employee then all this applies to you. If you want a good secure job then you have to be professional about your work. Because if you are lazy and do not think then you will only get jobs with companies that are losers like you. Having no respect for yourself and others attracts others to treat you the same.

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