Canadian Vending

Features Business Operations
Road To Recovery


September 29, 2009
By Cam Wood


Topics

Depending on which school of thought you buy into, the recession – according to some analysts – has apparently come to an end.

Depending on which school of thought you buy into, the recession – according to some analysts – has apparently come to an end.

And while the fiscal charts may suggest there is some minute evidence
to show that the economic toboggan ride has reached the end, the
emotional turmoil associated with the downturn will not see any
recovery for a long time – if ever.

For anyone who has managed to survive the recession, it is likely that
his or her spending habits have been greatly altered. This has been a
true test of “survival of the fittest.”

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In terms of our industry, the recession has dealt more than loss of
revenue. It has dealt loss of location, and an altered state of the
consumer buying habits.

As such, it is important to approach our business in a similar altered
state. Looking for innovative and inventive ways to find capital will
be a key strategy in the recovery process.

There’s been a lot of banter about the economic stimulus packages that
many businesses have received from the federal government. And it’s
pretty much a guarantee that no independent vending operator was a
beneficiary of such assistance.

However, there are ways to implement your own stimulus strategies, as
author and financial guru Jay Arthur explores in this month’s cover
feature. And while he may not actually point you in the direction of
finding a pot of gold, the message within is really one of discovering
a new business model. Rather than adhere to the “slash and hack”
approach to profit maintenance, Arthur will help operators understand
that a service-minded customer service model will deliver profits
beyond just the traditional product-based venture.

In this current issue, we also visit a number of key tactics that may
help operators; business owners and suppliers continue to work towards
stability.

For example, while it may seem a simple concept, how many operators
actually have an annual “budget”? We’re not talking just a set of
numbers in the back of our head, but an actual physical budget.

In Gene Siciliano’s article this month, the CPA and financial
consultant lays out an easy-to-follow process to put the mechanisms
into place. As many of us have fiscal years beginning in January, now
is an excellent time to take a long, hard look at how we plan our
economic strategy – and how we may be able to make it work more
effectively in these unusual times.

Regardless of whether you budget, strategize, or simply fly by the seat
of your pants, it is important to understand that despite all the
prophesying of the economic professors, the recession is not over and
may never truly be. The money charts may reveal a slow rise, but the
one factor they don’t show is that of the psychological impact this
downturn has had. Business will be very different.


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