August 30, 2012

The Perfect Storm (Economically Speaking)

The perfect storm involves many components coming together in sync creating a much larger storm as each of the components, rather than opposing each other in some way, support each other.

We have that in our economy now as the following components seem to be in sync, or at least they are in my opinion.

  1. Pent up capital goods demand - there is lots of need to spend and buy big things, from bridges to roads (in the infrastructure arena) to fork lifts, manufacturing equipment, communicating equipment, sales tools and systems.  This trickles down in a big way to household items and discretionary luxuries. UPDATE: September 5, 2012: Auto sales rise as higher gas prices, aging vehicles spur demand (Link Expired).
  2. Capital sitting and waiting for someplace to be spent.  Huge amounts of dollars are starving for a place to go - a major contributing factor to why our interest rates are so low.

So why isn't capital demand hooking up with capital supply?  In my opinion (for some reason I feel the need to clarify that all the time), political uncertainty and instability; people (its all about people) do not invest until the rules have been defined and show some form of stability.  So why do we have political uncertainty and instability today?  The media...  The media is creating news, in my opinion <smile>, for the sake of selling news - and luckily, rapidly failing as well.  Stability is here (or coming quickly).  No matter who or what is, or will be in power, stability is here, more spending will occur and the economy will be perceived and recognized as better.  The who or what will only effect the level of good - all's good.

It's a great time to have business problems and be a business owner as people dream to have the problems you are about to face.

UPDATE: September 6, 2012: Someone told me today how "Office Furniture" is one of the economies leading indicators (Forward Looking) - and how hot it is NOW...

UPDATE: December 27, 2012: Jobless claims fall to lowest in almost 4-1/2 years.  ~ Business.

UPDATE: January 3, 2013: Businesses added 215,000 jobs in Dec., survey shows.  ~ Business.

August 29, 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is one of those abstract needs where the return is difficult to quantify, but we know we need to do it because that's what everybody says (?#?#).

Here is my bottom line on this - if you have a need, learn to do it as the return is high (assuming you have the need).  The cost of good SEO is also high and since it is very much abstract, you want to know you are getting what you pay for - and watch out for the snake oil salespeople.  Note: We do it, we don't sell it - - - -

SEO comes in many flavors and levels.

The first, and least expensive, is that tuneup you may hear about frequently ($149 - $499). My opinion on this - if your website was built correctly in the first place it is already done. If you are being sold this, you probably don't need it.  But then again, its 500 bucks - it may be worth getting someone elses opinion.  You will hear people say things like relevant page name, page titles, page descriptions, meta tags, keywords and search engine submissions at this level.

The next level comes from those service providers who do monthly SEO service - it's kind of like getting maid service for the first time - a start-up fee (like $499) and then a monthly fee of anywhere from $39 - $99 per month.  Here we begin to move in the right direction as SEO is not a snapshot, but a process.  Regretfully, customers rarely see a return and terminate the service as this becomes apparent.  When this group is selling you, you will hear all the same words from the previous paragraph plus one other - "relevance"...

Finally, for those people who can actually benefit (financially speaking) - learn to do SEO as the process (yes, a process) needs to be continuously worked.  Think of it like marketing - it's not something you do once.  Add to that, people who know what they are doing with SEO are either doing something themselves or charge BIG $$.  Test your need with PPC (Pay-Per-Click (or CPC - Cost-Per-Click); it is not abstract.  If PPC provides a return, so will SEO and you will want to do BOTH - this, is not an either/or.

 Finally, we don't sell it - we don't buy it - we do it.