Taking stock of 2010, and preparing your business for 2011 and beyond.
Dan Marx, SGIA: There has been a great deal of consolidation in the industry, and many of the mid-sized businesses have taken it on the chin. Large providers seem to weather the storm quite well, and small shops often use their diversity to keep the fires burning, even in difficult times. While there’s no easy answer to know when the economic uncertainty will be over, one thing is certain: Companies should do what they can to make it through and prepare to hit the ground running when the economic flood gates open.
Tim Greene, InfoTrends: Like most, I think there’s a cautious optimism that
exists in many corners of “the market” right now. I’m somewhat of a believer in the “new normal” – which, to me, means that in this market there is a reset of what can and should be expected in terms of the return of profitability. Even higher levels of business don’t equal the return to equal levels of profitability because capacity in the market exceeds overall demand. In one of our recent surveys, we asked people in the market – printers, dealers, manufacturers – about this and more than half of the respondents reported that they think the recession is over, but generally they do not expect a recovery of business levels until the end of 2010 or into 2011.
Peter Mayhew, Lyra: There are many economists, analysts, and commentators making a wide variety of predictions about the recovery of major economies from the recession. What is clear is that companies that are proactive in creating and developing business opportunities will see results faster than those who simply expect business and, consequently, a recovery, to arrive without any signifi cant effort on their part.