Monday, October 5, 2009

RECESSION IS OVER

"FED ALL BUT DECLARES RECESSION OVER!"

I was reading USA Today at breakfast. Front and center on their "Money" page it says "Recession Over." The Federal Reserve even said the "growth would be more robust than it previously anticipated." When Ben Bernanke makes positive statements about the economy, I am all ears! Most of us in the home furnishings business have experienced possibly the most challenging environment ever. Consumer spending on discretionary purchases, such as new window coverings and furniture, has been hit hard. To survive and to thrive we have all been making the changes necessary in our business to adjust to today's realities and to proactively position ourselves for the opportunities ahead.

"IS IT ME OR AM I REALLY PEDDLING SLOW?"

IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, a major economic forecaster, predicts a "strong recovery in the last quarter of 2009 followed by a gradual rebound in the first quarter of 2010." I LOVE positive economic news, but right now I feel like I'm peddling a heavy beach cruiser rather than my Eddie Merckx titanium road bike. What are my choices? I can change bikes, get stronger, or do both. I need to change the way I see things by widening my lens. With a broader view of our business, our customers, and our products, I know there will be beautiful roads ahead to travel on. I definitely want to be ramped up and ready to go, rather on the side of the road worrying about a flat. The 80-20 rule applies now more than ever! We need to focus 80 % of our attention on opportunities and 20 % on correcting what's wrong.

KEEP CALM & CARRY ON
This 1939 British poster was issued to help stiffen the reserve during the early days of World War II. We all need to keep calm and energized to carry on in new ways. My advice to customers today would be to focus first on sales and marketing, then work on being an expert in your field. This may sound backward, but client generation is paramount. No matter how gifted you are in product knowledge, color, layout, and design, you first have to have a customer! Read everything you can, burn up the web searching for ideas & inspiration, network like crazy, find a mentor to help you in the field, join other designers and window covering professionals in support groups, and be ready to learn! On the product side it is important to partner with someone that cares for you and your business. I hope you don't mind if I toot the Wesco Fabrics’ horn. Our total package of products is unsurpassed! Our web based "Wesco Online" as well as our website can save you time and unnecessary mistakes. We can give you personalized training and support with our online webinars.

YOUR COURAGE POSTER

GRIT is everything.

GET HOT POSTER

I love motivating antique posters from the past. This one says it all, "GET HOT-Keep moving. Don't waste a precious minute."

WE CAN DO IT!

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD'S PURPLE SHOES

I love Paul Arden's little book "Whatever you think think the opposite." He says "I wish means: wouldn't it be nice if..... If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else. Always wishing life was different." If you are working in home furnishings you need your own special voice, your personal signature. "Original ideas are created by original people, people who through either instinct or insight know the value of being different and recognize the commonplace as a dangerous place to be." In the 1970's Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened a radical shop in an unfashionable part of London. Their clothes were often un-wearable, crazy and odd. Their shop closed pretty quickly. Had they not had the grit and the courage, Westwood would not become one of England's greatest designers and McLaren would not have started the Sex Pistols.

THE RECOVERY STARTS HERE

I found this picture on Style.Com. New York's Fashion Week showed there was a creative spark ready to ignite.

YOU WILL FLY

It's time to step up and make decisions.

LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING

I'M READY TO BLAST OFF

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