As a CEO or business leader, predicting the post inaugural economy is a topic not to be missed and when paired with the knowledge and insight of economists Alan Beaulieu and Roger Martin-Fagg and strategic consultant Farnaz Wallace, it produced an indispensable session during our Think Big conference.
Alan Beaulieu led off by giving a quick overview of his economic forecast for 2013 through 2014 and what he said may surprise you. Although most Americans think we’re in a recession, Beaulieu confidently assured that we are in a growth in which the global economy is expanding. He went on to say that the re-election of President Obama has not resulted in any significant change and that there is no real fiscal cliff, but instead a fiscal slope, which has already existed. The economy is headed in a positive direction for the duration of 2013, according to Beaulieu, and predicts a mild consumer-led recession in 2014.
Beaulieu’s advice for business owners:
- Be aware of global trends. (China is slowing its rate of growth and Turkey is a country you should be investing in, not ignoring.)
- Create positive leadership in your company that will be aware of how economic trends are affecting the business.
- Be confident in where the economy is headed.
Roger Martin-Fagg followed up by presenting his views on the economic condition in Europe specifically and then his thoughts on the economy globally. He noted that we are not in an economic cycle right now, but rather we are in a discontinuity, a step change in the way things work.
Europe, the largest market on the planet is in recession and its banks are destroying money. China is losing price competitiveness and its dominant position. The price of oil should be falling, but will not fall below $100 a barrel. And despite seeing these negatives on in international level, Martin-Fagg adds, there is progress to be seen in the American market. American banks are growing their balance sheet and are more compliant.
Farnaz Wallace wrapped up the session by giving her thoughts on what it takes to be successful in this economic climate – that being, strategic differentiation. Figure out whether your company is offering great value, comparable value at a lower price, or both.
Wallace emphasized that when navigating through this economy, it is important to embrace the three major macro trends:
Take into consideration that 85% of consumer decisions are made by women. It is the largest target market in the world. Generation Y, also called the Millenials, is 3 times the size of Generation X and will soon be a majority of the workforce. Multi-culturalism has become the new normal as we see the majority of the U.S. becoming non-Whites. When you begin to take in the reality of this shift, being able to understand and market to these macro trends become an economic imperative.
Wallace advises if you want to grow your business and grow it well within this economy, follow these 3 steps: 1) Re-evaluate your targets 2) Lever those emotional values and 3) Align that with your brand values. Analyze what growth opportunities you want to concentrate on and focus your business in those areas.