Browse Tag: economy

Postmaster General Suggest Cutting Mail Days

As you already know, I have no love for US Postal Service. In fact, I almost expected something like this to happen soon. Crisis makes all kinds of shady deals get more shady.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery, the postmaster general told Congress on Wednesday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week.

If the change happens, that doesn’t necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous post office studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day when mail flow is light, such as Tuesday.

So if you were wondering – what does it take for a commercial entity to make money, now you have a clear answer. You have to do less work. Less work – more money. Got it?

Bad Economy? Hire! Now!

Supply and Demand As people ask themselves what is the best place they can invest money, when it comes to small business owners the answer is simple. In fact, it’s so simple that I always get puzzled when fellow small business owners ask me how to invest.

For eons the most expensive thing on small business rosters was the workforce. Hiring someone else for small business was always the hardest decision to make, and we never hire the candidate we wanted – often because we just can’t pay that much. These days, when economy is taking a nosedive, the best investment you can probably make is a new hire.

Just think – you probably would never be able to lure that worker into getting a job at your place if corporate sector would be doing so well. Think of all the perks and the stability of the paycheck and all that. Now you can change the tide and use it to your advantage.

Lure them with flexible schedules and casual attire. Allow working from home if possible – you can’t do that with a receptionist, but a bookkeeper or accountant or phone sales/customer service person is definitely not needed on the premises constantly. Think how you can let them cut costs on travel. Let them spend more time with their families then their corporate bosses who demand 60 to 70 hours work week in order just to keep their jobs. Think family atmosphere. Think thinking outside of the cubicle, box or even outside of the game rules. All that – without being reprimanded for not conforming to corporate culture that imposed by some CEO who’s already have been paid a year more then you will make per life.

Your advantage is speed and flexibility. Large corporations are like large trucks – they speed up slow. While they will be recovering from the current crisis you will have plenty of time to interview candidates and find that person who will become your next star. Wait a little longer and corporate world will start snatching these people back with their bonuses, corporate gym discounts and tuition payment. Your small business can’t compete there. Start earlier, so you won’t have to.

Economy Surefire Fix Recipe (continued)

Part 2. Click for part 1.

Now would be a good time to ask me where is the fix? All I’ve been talking about so far is why we are in the mess we are in

From the entrepreneurial perspective – we have ineffective management. It’s everywhere. Not only the government suffers from this – major companies are settling for ridiculous levels of idiocy in their decisions. Probably because that’s what pays the most – immediately. In the long run, however, it’s not all that bright and shiny.

The big three automakers can’t get it into their system that people buy American trucks simply because people need them and there’s little to no alternative to them. And people buy Japanese cars because people want them – for higher efficiency and reliability for the same (if not lower) price . Out of the curiosity and nostalgia I always rent a different American car when I cannot travel in my own car. So far the experience is next to horrible. These cars have less sex appeal than President Bush and are less comfortable than a torture chair. I’ve been through Pontiacs, Fords, Chryslers and Chevrolets, varying among cars, SUVs, vans and trucks.

The outsourcing of high-tech jobs, R&D and pretty much anything where you have to use your brains damages the overall state of economy. I closely work with people who either manage outsourced teams or do clean ups after outsourcing’s epic failures. For every story about successfully outsourced project I hear two about failed ones. From the short-range-profit point of view the outsourcing is great, but when you take longer terms into consideration – outsourcing is less effective and costs just as much if not more. There’s a reason why business owners prefer working with people locally, and that is – easiness of communication, staying in touch and fast resolution of issues, which in the long run costs less than just cheap execution. Talking to someone, who’s English is a second or third language and who’s only incentive is to work for as long as they can so they can suck all the money they can will hardly yield anything useful. Besides, this is just handing our own competitive advantage to our competitors on the silver plate with a golden rim. And we are even paying for that!

So all that we need to do is create more jobs in the country. More people in the country will make money (and more people will be making more money than they are now), so the blood of the economy will start circulating again. This is not a short term solution, nor it would benefit all people at once overnight. But it’s surely a way to go.

If lawmakers, instead of passing a bailout (which reminds me of the old saying that you can’t heal a dead with a poultice) should concentrate more on having a law that will reward (with tax breaks maybe?) companies that create and maintain jobs in USA and punish those that dump them overseas. From my perspective – it’s a matter of language of the law how it’s done, as long as it’s done.