I was looking back on the great ideas I have sent through the years; there are hundreds of them. Anyway, when reading through them, I came across one I sent from January of 2004; please read it right here and tell me what you think.

Are you ready?

Many signs that I have seen and read of late point to the economy picking up and finally recovering. My two businesses have done fine (we’re still going to hit our numbers!), but it does seem that folks have been hesitant to spend money like they have in years past. For my landscaping business, I firmly believe that this has to do with the stock market and what my clients and prospects feel comfortable spending. While I am not an economist, I do think things are on the upswing.

In the last week, these are some of the headlines I have read:

U. S. economy finally takes off

Best Growth Since Reagan Boosts Bush

7.2% Gross Domestic Product;
Annual Rate of change since 1980

Compelling Signs Of Resurgence
Dramatic Acceleration in Q3

Consumers and business both pitch in
to generate better-than-expected gain

Furthermore, the companies that provide temporary help are also picking up. My friend and client Doug Barry, CEO of Barry Staffing in Dayton, Ohio, says his business is booming and he is usually at the front end of a recovery in the economy. The thought is that firms bring in temps to fill the immediate need for production and this usually means things are getting better. Also, many firms are looking to temporary help more and more as they make economic sense. Temporary workers don’t get benefits and that alone makes them very attractive. Anyway, last week in Fortune magazine, Richard Curtin, an expert on researching consumer behavior, shared the findings of his work at the University of Michigan. Here’s the short version of what he has found:

He thinks that with all the new homes that have been built in the last few years, consumers will be out to purchase things for those homes. He also thinks that vacations will be taken and sees many dollars being put in that category. His conclusion is based on consumer confidence. Americans are starting to feel better about their job security and future potential income.

While Curtin acknowledges there is a lot of consumer debt, he says that as long as people have jobs and are optimistic about their future, they will not be as concerned about debt.

He sees no reason to be concerned and thinks that the economy is headed in the right direction, or at least that’s what his research shows.

What matters most are jobs. If people have jobs, they will spend money and will borrow money for big purchases. So, if I were you and I owned a landscaping, remodeling company, or any other type of business that sells to homeowners or business owners, I would be ready for a good 2004. I really think you’re going to see some folks willing to spend money. And that gets back to the basic ingredient to succeeding in business –GREAT SERVICE! While the struggling economy may have put some poor performers out of business, there are still a lot of options for your client’s money, so you better be ready! Be honest, would you be completely impressed with the service your company offers if you had to hire them? If the answer is no, then you’ve got some work to do!

What do I think this means 8 years later? Today the lack of jobs is a much bigger problem than it was in 2004, but much remains the same. So, we must conclude that some things never really change; stick with it, folks; good service helps; GREAT SERVICE makes them come back for more. And I do think there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic for 2012, but you can’t sit around; you have to get to work, as when you do nothing, what happens? Nothing!

So, this week, make some phone calls to some old clients. Take a good client to lunch and ask them if they know someone you could do business with. I don’t care what action you take, but take some action. Make that phone ring; don’t wait for it to ring!

The more things seem to change, the more they seem to stay the same; too many of us know what we should do to make our businesses successful, but sadly, we just don’t do it! Go do it, folks, and do it NOW!

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