Saturday, September 12, 2009

Business 101: Treat Recessions like a test, not a final

Signs of the Recession:
1. Spam sales have rocketed.
2. Instead of visiting a water park, people just run through their sprinklers.
3. Vacations just become "staycations"
4. People switch from their "super duper five dollar mochas" to plain ol' drip coffee.
5. Instead of balancing one job, people balance three part time ones.
6. Anything that needs to be sold has to "go on sale" just to be noticed.
7. People have time to read my blog, because they can't afford to go to the movies.

Okay, I love capitalism. It produces better products and better customer service. It works, however the downside of capitalism is it depends on the feelings and emotions of a fickle public. In essence, business is built on confidence in a world of "low self-esteem." If you want the economy to get better, hire a psychologist to listen to it's problems while lounging on a couch n a dark room. I realize that is a very general rationality, but at the simplest level, it's true.

To support my title "Treat recessions like a test not a final," I must explain I am a senior business major at one of the top business schools in America. I know all about studying, cramming, and "test regurgitation." Recessions may in the words of my fellow students "suck," but believe me, it's not impossible if you took notes, studied, and did late night runs to starbucks. Recessions only "suck" to those who didn't even crack the textbook covers until the night before. If a business manager is just trying to "pass the test" he may only be allowing the company to be surviving at a C average rather than focusing on the desired 4.0 GPA long term plan.

Capitalism is especially loveable during the peak period of growth and stablity, but the trough period of the cycle can be health to help bring businesses back to reality and lean up the expense accounts. It's pretty easy to start a business during a flourishing time of the economy, but when times are hard, only the smart and savvy survive. Capitalism is based on materialism and and recessions teach us to not just buy for convenience or happiness. Recessions teach us how to buy to survive.

Don't just live for the survival of tomorrow, because if recessions are just another test in business 101, then there are still more tests to come and more material to cover. Study for the long term grade in the class (hopefully getting that coveted 4.0 GPA) instead of striving to just pass the test.

Stay strong my fellow economic students, the night is coming to an end and the test is in the morning. Only those who drank the most coffee, did the practice problems, and retyped their notes will be able to do more than make words with the mulitple choice questions ( You know like, "cab", "bad", "dad")

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