How can Vail Valley businesses go up in a down market? |

How can Vail Valley businesses go up in a down market?

Michael KurzVail, CO, Colorado

According to Comcast News, Hershey’s chocolate, is up 20 percent, garden vegetable seeds are up 40 percent, SPAM (the meat product) is up 6 percent, running shoes are up 2 percent and gun sales are up 27 percent (for various reasons, some political some not). Sales are also up for fishing equipment, Kraft Mac & Cheese, California wines, condoms (make your own conclusions), tanning products, gold, lipstick, laxatives and over-the-counter stomach remedies, to name a few.Obviously, it’s not a down economy for everyone. I’m sure that if you searched the Web, you could find your own list of businesses, products and services that are doing well now. The point? Find something that consumers need and provide it. Revelation? Hardly. In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Make yourself necessary to somebody.” In the 20th century, the late Ruth Stafford Peale, wife of the late Norman Vincent Peale, said it more succinctly when she advised, “Find a need and fill it.”We all to be thinking about that advice very carefully these days. If you’re continuing to try to fill an outmoded need, or one that has dropped down the hierarchy of needs in the new economy, you may want to take a closer look at your product/service mix.In the new economy chocolate provides comfort. SPAM is cheap, fast eats. Veggie seeds save on grocery bills, unless the critters get to the sprouts first. Hunting and fishing put food on the table, with some luck and a lot of skill. Running is cheaper than health club dues. Upticks in the sales of this stuff all makes intuitive sense. (I’m still not sure about the condom thing.) So what can you do that makes intuitive sense for your target audiences? I read another blurb today about the recession coming to an end. But, wouldn’t you know it, no hint about when. The soothsayer that wrote this welcome news followed it with a prognostication about taking a year to be visible. Then what? Well, he said, three more years before we can approach the kind of economic strength we saw in ’08. (Setting aside the economic impact of massive national debt and government spending increases between now and then.) What I’m getting to is that the conditions we’re experiencing now, in a tourism-based micro-economy, are not likely to improve any time soon. So make the most of your opportunities. Freshen your approach and, for your best shot at continuing success, serve your clients and customers like they were your investing in your future. Oh, wait. They are investing in your future.Give people really great reasons to invest and come back and maybe yours will be the next brand on the success list.

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