When Two Eyes Are Not Enough

As banks and other financial institutions continue to fail at rapid rates, various industry commentators keep asking which financial institution will be the next victim. No industry has been spared in this financial carnage. The manufacturing industry is no stranger to this global financial crisis with everyone involved fearing the worst but afraid to hope for the best. Industry experts are getting more and more confused as their projections keep on failing and all they can do is watch and report.

According to Forbes Magazine, 332 people lost their status as billionaires in the year 2008, a global drop from a figure in the thousands to now merely in the hundreds.

Warren Buffet, the celebrated world financier, lost a huge chunk of his financial wealth in 2008 due to the over 50% fall in the share value of Berkshire Hathaway. Even the seemingly untouchable were touched!

Enrollment in Community College is also going up in contrast to that of the more expensive 4 year university which has likewise dropped – a show of cannibalization.

Certified pre-owned cars are on the up and up. More and more people are seeing the virtue in buying a car that has been formerly owned, is completely certified and drives like new without the new car price and possibly that new car smell. A couple of major motor makers have recorded top sales in their pre-owned divisions. A few examples of this include:

Toyota Motor Corp’s Lexus brand who sold 4,348 certified pre-owned Lexus vehicles increasing them to a 19.5% sales record over the year before even while their sales record for new cars dropped 35% from the year before.

Mercedes-Benz, another popular luxury brand, claims its certified pre-owned sales rose nearly 27% from 2007 to 2008 and now 86% from 2008 as reported from January sales.

BMW, one of the most popular luxury brands sold about 10,000 certified pre-owned vehicles and even though there was still a larger amount of new car sales (placed at 12,000), BMW admits to inciting increased interests in pre-owned cars by lowering finance options and aggressively advertising the availability of great pre-owned vehicles.

Overall, sales of pre-owned vehicles in America have risen about 31.5% as marked in January alone in comparison to last year’s sales records – an obvious sign of cannibalization of the new by the pre-owned.

One trend that can be deduced from the above is that consumers are becoming more and more price sensitive. The owners of small and medium sized businesses are no exception. In order for small and medium-sized businesses to survive in these turbulent times, they need to be innovative, cut down costs, stand out among their competitors and develop new products that may meet the demand of consumers.

It is expected that by the end of this financial crisis, there’ll be major shifts in business paradigms. New business models will emerge while old and less profitable ones will fade out.

Some powerful nations will become weak and some weak nations will become much stronger, yet some strong nations will just become stronger while some weak nations will just become weaker. Only God knows what the world will become.

Some businesses have started doing what would have been considered unthinkable six months back. For the first time, mortgage companies are allowing homeowners loan modifications that will result in reduction of principal. Toyota is putting in measures to reduce the cost of production of their cars which will result in reduction of prices of their brands.

One company which is commanding in this area (of cost reduction) is Investigroup.

Investigroup Consulting has assembled smart MBA holders with proven professional and academic track records and do what the best do but charge less providing the same quality of consulting services as the big boys in the industry (McKinsey, Boston Consult). Investigroup stands for every small and medium sized business trying to make it in these tough economic times and is the best solution for all the perseverant business minded individuals who have innovative ideas they want to begin regardless of the times. Investigroup Consulting is the bridge between current economic instability and perpetual present and future stability for businesses and their owners.

Investigroup effects this change in areas inclusive of but not limited to:

  • Management/Operation & Organizational Problem Solving: Leading to reduction in operational costs and fixing complex problems.
  • Business Strategy Development and competitive analysis
  • Help start up new business, get finance loans by writing business plans for them and taking them through the application process.

The times should not be allowed to define your business no matter who has and will be affected. Instead turn every industry threat into opportunity and weakness into strength taking full advantage of your resources: human and natural, and you can beat the odds in these times. Obviously, just two eyes are not enough to survive, a third one that gives extraordinary business insight is definitely needed to beat the tide.

Joseph A. Quaye