Would a Recession Affect Your Business?
The R word is just about on everyone’s lips these days. In April, I spoke at the NPES Print Outlook 08 conference, which was attended by the top printing manufacturers in the industry. Not only did all of the analysts concur that we were either in a recession or one was imminent, but just about every session revolved around the issue. Is this being over-talked? Is all the discussion about a recession actually making one happen? Will it prove to be a self-fulfilling prophesy?
While I don’t negate the work of the experts, let’s gage the concerns of buyers and suppliers on the ground level. We asked print suppliers in a May 2008 Print Buyers Online.com Quick Poll survey, “Will the threat of a recession impact how much printing you buy in 2008?” Only 38% believed it would have a significant impact on their buying behavior. In contrast, printers were much more pessimistic in their viewpoints, with 57% replying, “I believe a recession in 2008 would have a significant impact on my business.”
One of our print buyer members had a great take on the issue. Lynn Hamilton, production coordinator for Oceana Cruises, said, “The impact of a recession could result in the INCREASE of our print budgets. Our inventory levels will not recede and could require more marketing dollars to be spent to maintain the capacity we are accustomed to, which is generated by our current direct mail programs.”
What are your thoughts about all of this? How will you prepare for a recession ,and is talking about the issue helpful or harmful?