Nobody can know for sure what 2009 will hold for any of us.
One thing, however, is sure, it’s going to be anything but boring!
Businesses both large and small are going to have to make changes and watch how and where they spend money.
In many respects this should, in theory at least, lead to more efficient businesses, though there will also be quite a few businesses that will end up losing out.
I guess for some people this economic downturn is probably their first experience of an economic slump. For those of us over 30 it isn’t.
We can all remember the 80’s and early 90’s when the Irish economy was dire and unemployment was a fact of life. I remember the queues in the dole office in Cobh being so long that they literally went round the corner from the post office!
But there’s no point being negative about it.
Economies rise and fall. It’s cyclical.
You can have an economic boom, but you can’t expect it to last forever.
Hopefully we’ll all be able to make it through the current downturn without too much difficulty, but it’s not going to be easy. People will lose jobs, other people will have to learn to live on lower salaries.
In our sector I expect some of our clients and partners are going to feel the pinch and cutback, while others will expand.
Online businesses that have a solid revenue model should be able to “weather the storm”, while those that have been basing themselves on a “fluffy” model probably won’t.
People are going to shop around more and more for the best deal, be that for insurance, food, drink or any other product or service that they need to consume. I know that we’ve been forced to re-assess a lot of our costs over the last few months and while we don’t cut corners, we have made changes to how we buy certain products and services so that we can get the best value.
So how will 2009 pan out for us all?
It’s impossible to say, but, as I said earlier, we have to be positive about it. If everyone spends all their time and energy focussing on the negative aspects then nobody will make any progress.
We’ve got a lot of cool projects in the pipeline for 2009 that will bring new services to our clients without “breaking the bank”.
We will try to maintain low prices on as many products and services as we can.
We will endeavour to improve the level of service and value that we provide to our clients in the coming year, as we feel strongly that a good level of service is something that everyone deserves.
So to all our clients, friends, partners and suppliers – here’s hoping that we all have a great 2009 and that we can avoid the doom and gloom!