Positive News Feeds on Itself…

Which of course means the opposite is true also. Especially in this age of super fast communication and the almost immediate sharing of information via the wide array of new media. I believe that a good amount of the steep drop in our economy some three years ago was enhanced by the media sharing the latest information and then repeating it virtually non-stop. Every newscast, every newspaper story or online discussion was centered on the dismal reports of an economy that was melting in front of us.

Now don’t get me wrong, the recession was not fake. It was very real and had been coming for some time – it is just that no one chose to recognize it until it was too late. And then, just like the credit card commercials that showed a smooth running retail operation coming to a screeching halt when someone chose to write a personal check instead of using a credit card, everything came to a tumbling down!

When things did start to slowly turn-around last year, we saw a significant shift towards the positive. And it seemingly fed upon itself enough so that we began to feel better. Not that everything was great again, but we had turned the corner at least. Until that is, we heard of a few random negative reports. Pretty sporadic, and nothing that could not be explained as a quirk in the recovery.

Except that, they kept coming – and now…  well it seems like the negative wave is once again building. Whether it be the news out of Greece, or the rising unemployment rate again, we are hearing more and more of the negative – which only feeds on itself.

Why I find this interesting, is that for many businesses the news of the day does not always correspond to what is happening in their world. For instance – I had really expected business to rebound this year to go along with all of the positive reports from last year and during January/February. Unfortunately, I have found just the opposite – so far this year our sales revenue is down again. Not a lot,  but definitely not growing either. And now that we hear the economy is sputtering somewhat? You guessed it… our business seems to be picking up a bit!

Now maybe we are just lagging behind – in fact the printing industry typically does lag the common recovery. However, with how volatile the spreading of news is these days, I have to wonder how the typical economic cycles will now look. Will they last as long? Will the recoveries be as strong? What is the “new normal” for planning?

All the more reason to not count on the premise that a “rising tide will raise all ships.” (Thanks Andy for this insight!) Rather it is more important than ever to not be concerned about everybody else, but rather what you are doing to make sure your business will still be around after the next cycle.

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