Posts Tagged ‘Recession in Ireland’

Storming the Recession?

September 13, 2011

Perfect Storm

At the beginning of 2009 I wrote this article for a few publications – this was written when “panic” was at a peak and we were all scrambling and desperately trying to find solid ground as the earth was crumbling under our feet:

Storming the Recession (Feb 2009)

Right now the country is gripped not only by Recession, but by Depression. The fear is absolutely tangible with everyone, as we face the storm that is raging all around us.

The money men are telling us to chase our debtors aggressively, delay our creditors as much as possible and cut back on spending.  That’s fine if we all existed in isolation of each other but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this approach will have everything grinding to a halt in a very short space of time.

Instead of this negative approach how about, rather that defence, think attack and work towards Storming the Recession?

Let’s work hard – carefully but positively; let’s deliver great service to our customers instead of just good service and let’s keep our eyes wide open to spot the unique opportunities that will present themselves in this unique climate – can we allow ourselves to keep an open mind to the many opportunities that are out there?

Your approach to Marketing Activity will be a key factor.

If you cut back on your Marketing activity where will this leave your business? What impact will it have on volume?  Will you fall behind your competitors, lose your footing in the marketplace and could it damage your business in the long term?

Also, if your competitors pull back from their activities does this present you with an opportunity?

Without a doubt business will not come as easy as it has in the recent past.  You will need to be more pro-active than before, as your competitors could well be chasing your customers more aggressively than ever before.  Can your business really afford to hide at the moment?

Accepting that the financial health of business may have changed you should re-evaluate your activities and seek better value from your Budget:

  • Advertising – Evaluate effectiveness & negotiate (never has there been a better time to bargain!)
  • Bring PR into the mix – Achieve valuable editorial
  • Promotions – Get your message out there through prize giveaways, often this can be achieved with no media cost
  • Direct Marketing – Communicate directly to your target audience
  • Customer Database – Ensure your database methods are in order so you can communicate economically and build customer loyalty through communicating information and offers
  • Cross Selling – Increase business with customers by attracting them to other services
  • Review – Make sure you are recording the results of your campaigns
  • Team Review – All your staff should fully understand your objectives
  • Web Optimisation – Ensure that your website is in order and that your prospective customers can find it easily.
  • Business Network – Increase your network of contacts proactively by joining and participating in business networks such as the Chamber

Storming the Recession is a positive strategy to deal with the current climate.

By delivering great service, operating as efficiently as possible, and by not hiding in the marketplace, you will be in a position to take advantage of the unique opportunities that will present themselves during this period and ride out this storm.

Have you stormed the recession?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

p.s. with the benefit of hindsight I would change none of the advice given except that Social Media has become huge in this time and I would add the full embracing of these free platforms this to the mix.

Waiting for the Penny to Drop

August 26, 2011
Greg Canty blog

Keeping up with trends?

I was reading the text of an interview with a prominent retailer in Ireland (in business for over 40 years) who has a number of outlets – he was talking about the current state of his business and his outlook for the future.

Some of this is as you would expect:

Footfall, passing trade, impulse buying and general sales have decreased.. Last year was bad and this year is the worst ever … there is a need to work harder and continue to offer great quality, reasonable prices and a top class service to customers … we have to offer continuous promotions to keep the business ticking over …

we have to offer discounts to get customers to part with their money … whether we are in sale or not customers will often barter for a lower price and we are prepared to negotiate … the nature of our business is very personalised and we promote it with quality merchandise and great quality…

we’ve reduced prices by between 20 and 50 per cent, which customers have reacted well to… circumstances are changing on an almost daily basis as there seems to be a constant crisis with the Irish economy… we never got complacent even in the good times … the government isn’t doing enough to ensure healthy business and sales growth in Ireland…

Vat and rates are beyond our control and are the main reason why so many businesses are closing for good… we advertise on local radio and in the local press…. we do what we can to keep the doors open… hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel

Now this is a guy and a business who has been in a permanent scrap for the last few years, no doubt fighting with landlords over rent, cutting back on staff levels, reducing staff wages, negotiating with suppliers over margins, fighting on a daily basis to get more efficiencies in the business and doing everything I am sure to stay in the game.

With admiration I am saying to myself “well done you are one of the great survivors – it sounds like you have been doing everything to survive” – then I read one final piece in the interview..

I acknowledge the growing importance of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for making immediate contact with my customers … we’re in the process of setting up a Facebook profile aimed at younger customers as I recognise the importance of social media as a form of free and immediate advertising

In the process of setting up a Facebook profile! – I find myself screaming to myself ..”What are you waiting for?”

Unfortunately this hard working business is fighting a battle on many fronts but it is stuck in the slow lane with smart competitors putting on the indicator and whizzing quickly by – he probably doesn’t even notice them.

Despite the extreme economic climate and the huge shift in how we consume media for many people the huge Social Media Penny has still not dropped … one of these days!

Why do we find it so hard to adapt?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

At Fuzion we offer social media consultancy to clients even those where the penny takes a while to drop!

The Lost Chef from Sheffield

July 12, 2011
The Lost Chef from Sheffield

The Lost Chef from Sheffield

Walking through the village early in the morning with Bing (the four legged one!) we were met with the unusual sight of a guy approaching us from a distance wearing a white chefs uniform complete with black apron and dragging behind him a big suitcase on wheels and carrying a heavy shoulder bag. We quietly wonder what this guys story is.

Getting closer to the lost chef we make eye contact, nod and greet .. “Good morning

Excuse me mate, do you know where the Westfield B&B is?” – He was quite a tall young lad with an English accent.

We had no idea where it was but just had to help him – a quick Google search on the smart phone and a minute later we find the B&B on-line and then call for directions.

In between the Google search and the phone call the young guy explains to us that he is a trainee chef from Sheffield and had just completed his first shift in his new job in a nearby hotel.

He had been booked into the B&B by the hotel if he could just find it!

The poor guy looked lost, lonely and totally out of sorts.

It turns out he had dragged his heavy bags in the wrong direction from the B&B, but it didn’t matter as the B&B landlady informs us that there was a cancellation by a guest of the hotel where he was working and he needed to head back and stay there instead.

He politely thanked us for the help, crossed the road and started slowly making his way back to the hotel.

Working away from home – it is a long and lonely journey ..

To the lost chef from Sheffield, all the other young people looking for work away from home, our sons and our daughters – take care out there, wherever your journey takes you..

Life’s great adventure ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Optimistic, Pessimistic or Realistic – Which are you?

June 13, 2011
Optimistic, Pessimistic or Realistic?

Would you sit next to this guy at a party?

My friend was killing me with his negativity, I was feeling hot, uneasy and uncomfortable.. despite really liking him and not having seen him in quite a while I just wanted to get out of there!

I guess I’ve been accused of the opposite, taking a general optimistic approach to things. For some this can come across as being uplifting and for others it could be seen as being naive and maybe they want to get away from me?

It can be difficult at times when we are surrounded by doom and gloom, bad news, tangible signs of distress and people that are really struggling with things going badly wrong for them and we all have a different way of dealing with this environment.

In the meaty discussion with my quite successful friend I found myself not wanting to be in his company any more as he was sapping the energy from me with his pessimistic view on everything. I could literally feel a cloud creep over us as we chatted.

His big argument when I challenged him about his “outlook” was that he was being realistic as opposed to being pessimistic. In his view I was being optimistic and not realistic!

Of course neither of us were wrong and we agreed to disagree and having thought about this even more I think the real secret is all about adopting a “positive” attitude – even in a pessimistic frame of mind this can be quite powerful.

Even though the environment has been terrible my friend’s business has done really well by him positively tackling the lousy climate and continually adapting, despite his pessimism!

Whatever is happening in your business you do need to get through it “yourself” and part of this is equipping yourself with the tools, attitude and general approach that works best for you.

For me I recognise that part of my own personal armour is adopting a positive approach, which at times can be quite challenging. And yes, I am optimistic about how me and our business will survive and thrive but being realistic I know this will only happen if we work our socks off and continue delivering for our clients.

My medicine?

Even when things are going wrong attack the situation with positivity, be optimistic about your future success but realistic about what you need to do to achieve it. And if the guy sitting next to you is dragging you down with his negativity, pessimism or realism then move on politely..

No one said it was going to be easy!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Are you spending enough on Positive Costs?

April 25, 2011
Doorman - Positive Costs

Meet and Greet - Positive Cost?

In my accounting days (yes, I know most of you won’t believe it – I was!!) we had a few different ways of looking at the costs of a business.

The most popular of these was a very simple analysis – Fixed Costs, which were those costs that would not vary with volume and Variable Costs, which were the costs which did vary according to volume. This was quite a simplistic model, which didn’t always hold up!

We then had other methods of looking at costs such as Zero Base Costing and Activity Based Costing .. interesting stuff indeed!

Since the recession has kicked in I have witnessed first hand clients being advised to cut back on expenses by the accounting fraternity and often they just do it themselves automatically – the types of costs that get chopped first are those that are deemed to be “unnecessary”, which will typically include marketing &  advertising spend, sales reps, items like training, corporate entertainment, Christmas gifts, staff entertainment  and other “extras”.

On the surface it is easy to figure out why companies would cut back in such a way but you could ask the question: Why spend this money when sales were easier to come by and when it is harder to win business you just abandon them?

Could reduced sales be a self fulfilling prophecy when you cut out certain overheads?

The New Cost Model

Taking the knowledge of my old profession and combining this with what I am witnessing with clients every day I am now proposing a new way of analysing costs.

Here goes ..

There are actually three types of costs:

Negative Costs –   these are the costs that a business is “stuck” with, regardless of volume. It would include Rent and Rates (but not necessarily 100% of these – I will explain that later), Insurance, ESB, etc.

Maintenance Costs – these are the costs of servicing the business that you have brought in. It would such items as staff costs, raw materials, power and delivery costs.

Positive Costs – these are the costs that are all about bringing new business in, effectively the costs, which should have a “positive effect” on the business.

Positive costs are the most important costs of the whole business, they are the elements that are designed to start the engine, the elements that can make things happen, that “trigger” customers to actually place an order.

Positive costs are far reaching and could include surprise elements that you would not expect: the premium you pay to have a premises in a location that will bring in more customers, the cost of washing the car after it has been serviced, the cost of polishing the shoes that have been repaired, the cost of having a receptionist who answers calls promptly and deals with customer queries swiftly.

There could be an element of positive costs to most people overhead in the business – the porter who does “meet and greet” at the door of the hotel, the credit controller who carefully spends time with customers who are experiencing difficulty, the accountant who spends time with customers to understand the business better, the staff party to reward a hard working team and a deliberate initiative to improve morale.

I’m sure with a little effort you will think of thousands of other unexpected examples – all of these elements contribute to bringing in more business and create a “positive effect” on the business.

Of course Positive Costs will include items such as advertising, marketing, graphic design, web marketing, social media activity and even PR!

Positive costs are absolutely essential for generating business for any company – cutting these out may be viewed as a necessary step but it will eventually choke the oxygen of the business.

Recession (or any time for that matter)

Using our new cost model I would suggest the following approach:

Analyse your costs into the different cost categories and work towards –

1. Reducing the negative costs as much as possible

2. Improving efficiencies and work practices so that maintenance costs are as little as possible

3. Spending as much of your overhead budget as possible on positive costs .

I am not for one minute suggesting naive spending – always look for the best value in your positive costs and don’t waste money, making sure they are actually positive costs – that the spend results in increases in business.

Are you spending enough on Positive Costs in your business?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Have a Postitvely Fabulous Easter!

April 14, 2011
Retail tips for easter

Positivity? - Why not !!

Budgets, bad weather, IMF bailouts, things are tough, sales are bad, wages are down, burn the bond holders, senior bond holders, junior bond holders, any bond holders – Oh my God, my head is bursting ! Enough is enough ..

In business all the marketers will tell you about the importance of having a Unique Selling Point, a USP. It is that element that is unique that makes your business special and makes you different to your competitors. In a busy marketplace that can be hard to achieve. In the current climate it can be even more difficult as everyone is afraid of mistakes so we end up playing it very safe, even boring at times.

Now go back to my first paragraph, read it again and then read further on and let’s discover a really simple way to make your business stand out this Easter.

Here goes..

This Easter draw a secret line around your business and make it a haven for all those who enter or deal with over the phone or on email – you are going to give them a gift, something that is quite unique, something that are not getting in most other places. When anyone crosses that secret line they are going to experience nothing but positivity – yep, that’s right simple positivity.

That’s all well and good but how do we do it? – Here is my 10 step plan!

1.       Yourself – You start! ( “Good morning, Greg”)

2.       Your Team – Tell them that negative talk is banned, you want them cheery and bright with customers – watch what happens (have a negative jar instead of a swear jar!)

3.       Bright – You want to see bright merchandise in the windows, bright visuals on your website, bright stock in the stock list, bright clothes on the staff. Buy flowers!

4.       Sales – Increase your sales targets. We all know it’s not easy but tell the team you are budgeting for an increase (let everyone else do the opposite, prepare for the negative it and it will definitely happen)

5.       How to? – Ok, while you are positive you are also realistic. You want positive plans from your team as to how the sales targets will be achieved

6.       Bonus – Promise bonuses for those who succeed, win/win if you make it

7.       What to do with that bonus? – Get everyone in the team to write on a piece of paper what they will do with their bonus (put their private responses in an envelope with their name on it – keep it for them)

8.       Drinks/dinner/chocolates/coffee – When the sales plans are done and the bonuses are decided on do something as a team. Bring chocolates or buns into work.

9.       Customers – treat them really nice, offer them coffee, offer them biscuits. Tell them about the secret line if you have to – they will think you are nuts but they will appreciate it

10.   The World – little enough that you can do about the other stuff, keep it outside the line!

Sorry I have one more tip – why stop at Easter?

Happy Easter!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Broken Man – We need him now more than ever ..

March 14, 2011

I

Broken Man

Give the Broken Man a push

n he bounded about two years ago full of energy, enthusiasm and little bit of arrogance but full of confidence.

His plan was to launch a brand new product in a sector that he reckoned was totally under serviced but one that was growing in interest and importance. He was fully convinced about the viability of this project and needed our help to design and launch it in the marketplace. We were swept along by this guys enthusiasm and everyone in the team got behind the new project – it was really exciting.

The new product did come out, probably at the worst possible time – in the middle of 2009 when no one was taking a chance on anything new. Despite his enthusiasm and powers of persuasion the revenue targets were badly missed.

The product sold well in outlets where it was given a chance on the shelves but in most others it was returned within the week! That often happens with new products that battle for space on the retailers shelves. Product feedback was really superb by the few who actually managed to get their hands on it.

A second variant of the product was planned but never saw the light of day ..insufficient funds (funds were never an issue at the start of the project!)

Fast forward to 2011 ..

We did manage to get a few quid off what was owed to Fuzion but there was still a really large sum outstanding. I guessed the phone call would be a waste of time but in any case it had to be made..

..no answer, he’s probably not up to the conversation – can’t be easy. Two minutes later I get a call back and we have a really good chat.

His other business ventures had also ceased (construction sector), he didn’t have money for me just now but promised to pay when fortunes improved. His mortgage payments have slipped by a few months and he was now job hunting. There is nothing here for him he reckoned .. his preferred destination is Australia but he wouldn’t get a work visa so he guessed he would end up in Abu Dhabi. This would be difficult as he has two young kids.

He is a broken man, his world is in tatters – he is not the only one I have met recently.

The truth is this broken man is an entrepreneur, someone who is willing to take a chance, someone who will make things happen. Sometimes things go wrong but often they go right and they end up employing people and service providers in the process.

In Ireland we need the broken man now more than ever – if you meet him give him a break and encourage him to get on his feet again.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

Another Crazy Christmas! – Some Tips for Retailers

December 10, 2010
Tips for Retailing at Christmas

Tips for Retailing at Christmas

Writing a piece about retailing at Christmas should be quite straight forward you would imagine, but writing a piece that it is really helpful for retailers that have been through so many of them at this stage is a little daunting I must admit!

With a backdrop of recession and cutbacks, getting customers parting with their hard earned cash will be more challenging than ever but presents must be bought so let’s roll up our sleeves.

As part of the preparation for this article I decided I should ask my good buddy Mr Google for a little help and see what extra nuggets I could find that would definitely impress the experienced retailers out there.

If you Google “Tips for retailing at Christmas” you will be quite surprised with what you will find! My search actually took me to a website called www.christmastipsforretailers.com – can you imagine a website designated to just that topic!

In a way it’s not at all surprising seeing as the Christmas period accounts for a huge % of peoples revenue as well as a huge % of footfall. Even more important the festive period will bring a large number of “new” visitors who could well be trying out your store for the first time – what an incredible opportunity if you really think about it.

I will look at the tips under four broad headings:

Attract the customers into your store

Customer loyalty is as a result of the good work you have done throughout the year and will determine where customers will do their shopping when it comes to Christmas. However you have to do your utmost to attract them in and compete for their attention.

Database Promotions – this is where you use your databases, your invite lists, and your Facebook page for special offers, special customer nights and even Christmas cards as gentle reminders that you are open for business.

Wow Window displays – Christmas windows are really special and if possible push the boat out and really build attractive displays that grab customer attention. (I always get blown away by the window displays in London at this time)

While having an attractive window display is critical, remember that people need complete “solutions” with either their outfits or their gifts – be sure to put your best foot forward at all times with your most attractive and available stock.

Fresh – Have new merchandise arrive throughout the whole festive period keeping your store fresh and if not refresh and rotate the key displays so that the store feels new and vibrant.

Offers – Make sure your promotions are well displayed but in a tasteful way and in keeping with the overall store look and feel.

Clean and tidy store – Allow extra staff time each evening for cleaning, tidying and rearranging so that the store is looking the best as much as possible.

 

Look after the customer really well when they get there

Research has shown that at Christmas 60% of purchasing decisions are made within the store – once they come in your door make sure that happens.

Christmas is a Floor Show – One of the sites I visited referred to retailing at Christmas as being a “Floor Show”. The game is won and lost on the sales floor and this is where the staff and managers should be spending their time looking after customers, making sure that the part time staff knows what they are doing, spotting trends and sorting out issues – plenty time for the office work in the New Year!

 

Happy Team – Keep your team motivated and upbeat. Christmas is a happy time and cheery staff are vital for the business. It is your responsibility to keep them happy, plan a Christmas party, bring them coffee and treats and make sure you rotate them so that they don’t get too jaded as this will result in lost business.

Happy Customers – Make sure there is a good atmosphere in the store with nice scents and festive but not “too” typical music. Offering a festive drink or some sweets or treats can put the shopper in a very good mood.

Give yourself every chance of selling to customers and as much as possible

Once you have done the hard job of attracting people into your store you want them to do a lot more than browse and say thank you!

 

Make it easy – Shoppers want to maximise their time and minimise their decision making so make it easy for them by bundling and coordinating products, labelling them clearly and having relevant accessories within easy access.

Have a Top 10 or Favourites rail – Display the popular lines prominently making it easy for the customer to purchase with confidence.

Show people what to buy – Create displays with the specific solutions in mind such as mother’s gifts, party wear etc

The right staff – You need the right quantity of good staff to maximise your income at this time. Bring part-time staff in during the lead up to Christmas in plenty of time so they are sufficiently up to speed for the rush.

Speedy Gonzales – Have your quickest people on the tills and on wrapping duty – remember Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) in the store in the movie Love Actually!

Exchange policy and vouchers – make it as easy as possible for customers to buy by removing obstacles such as “What if they don’t like it?” objections.

Gift wrap – for the guys this is an absolute must as long as it doesn’t take too long and interferes with sales. Pre-wrap fast selling items where possible.

Entice them to return in the New Year

This is the one area that for some reason wasn’t covered in any of the websites, which really surprised me.

Accepting that many new customers visit your store in the Christmas period and many of the other shoppers may just be customers for special occasions, give them a special reason for returning earlier than expected.

New Year Initiatives such as invitations to a special VIP Customer “sale day” or a unique voucher that can be redeemed with purchases in the New Year might achieve this. Brainstorm ideas with your staff to encourage early New Year visits for customers.

 

Running competitions can be another clever way of building a fresh customer database at this time as long as it doesn’t create delays at the till!

I hope the Christmas tips have been helpful and serve you well into 2011 when we have to do it all over again, Merry Christmas!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

The Secret of My Success

November 24, 2010

One of the guys my partner Greg and I really admire in business is Louis Copeland.  He is a very practical guy, full of positivity and like a breath of fresh air every time we meet him.  I remember when the storm clouds first came in on the economy we were listening to a national radio station and heard Louis being interviewed with loaded questions of doom and gloom.  The interviewer asked him how he would cope with this recession and Louis just said “I’m just going to get to work earlier, stay at work later and give my customers an even better service.” He added that this wasn’t his first recession and this is what he did for the others and was still around to tell the tale!

Doreen O'Mahony, Fuzion Communications
Doreen going that extra mile!

It was so refreshing to hear such a simple solution and both Greg and I vowed we would do the same.  This was over two years ago; our alarm clock goes off now at 6am every morning; we are at our desks for 7.30am and I can’t tell you the last time I was home in time for Coronation Street at 7.30pm!  (Although Greg doesn’t complain about that last part!!)

Greg, our Ringmaster, drums into us the value of customer service and going that extra mile for clients.  Within Fuzion we are instilled with an ethos of hard work on behalf of clients with lectures of Good to Great” and “Purple Cows” from Greg, that most of it does stick!  Because of this we have all become great practitioners of going that extra mile for clients.

One example is this photo; on a rare day off we went on a Charity Walk that a client was organising; Doreen our colleague came with us, even though she didn’t have to – she wanted to.  Not just content at taking part, there were record numbers of participants and she couldn’t get a good enough shot of the crowd so Greg had to lift her onto a pillar to take the shot.

She took time out for a client and then went that extra little bit to record the successful event.  Now that’s going that extra mile for a client (or 10k in this instance)!  It’s not going to appear on an invoice or a time sheet, but the client will remember it and so will Greg and I!!  For me this photo sums up going that extra mile for a customer.

There are other things we have done within Fuzion.  I joke that I dropped a dress size for a client!!!  Well my client Kate, was starting a really fab weight loss programme (DietDeli.ie) that I totally bought in to, thanks to her enthusiasm and passion for the product.  I wanted to be her first paying customer.

I went on to lose over a stone in weight in a month (badly needed) but was able to prove that the product was as good as our press release said.  I admit it was a big motivating factor that I didn’t want to let my client down by failing in my mission to lose a stone!!!  I was able to send messages out on facebook, once a week on my progress; received great encouragement from my friends and my client got some new clients as well as good exposure for her product.

Another example would be our work with Cystic Fibrosis.  We were once asked by a member of the board, who belonging to us had CF?  They felt we were so passionate about the issues that we must have a family member with CF!  We went on to win a major national award this year for our work with this client.

I don’t think a week goes by without one of the team going that extra mile for a client and I continue to be impressed by them and so glad they are part of the Fuzion family.  I know I can rely on them through thick and thin.  This past year has been especially tough, with not just work stuff, but losing my mum and others not being very well.  But they have shown me that not only do they go the extra mile for clients but for each other.

Such teamwork has helped us through so much and despite all the craziness around us we still have fun, we work hard, play hard and on the eve of our 10th birthday, I just want to dedicate this blog post to them and to thank them for focusing on what is important.  Happy Birthday Fuzion Love Dee xxx : )

You need to understand making bread to avoid toast – Bill Clinton

October 5, 2010
Bill Clinton and the Irish Toast
Bill Clinton and the Irish Toast

Bill Clinton made a huge impression in Ireland last week during his visit and scored huge credibility points with his straight talk and in particular his comment that “Ireland needed to get a handle on the Economy and its Finances or else it would be toast

This speech came at the same time as we announced even bigger banking deficits and serious noises about four year austerity budgets. Doom and Gloom in mega portions. Would you like some despair with that?

Bill was quickly compared by the media to our own leaders and we all fell into a hole of depression as we know we are seriously lacking in credible and inspirational leadership that we can genuinely believe in. Bill did say we could take the tough medicine IF we believed in the results that would follow.

He is right – we need to get a handle on our economy before we are all toast.

The big issue is that no one seems to have a clue about bread and how to avoid our bread (or lack of it!) turning into toast – it just isn’t understood. I am getting no sense from anyone that there is anything close to a solution, a definite and a clear believable plan.

I had a meeting this morning with an accountant friend of mine and the subject of Irish toast came up.

Quite simply my friend made a statement “As accountants, both of us we know that you just can’t take any more money out of this economy. People are on their knees so this is an impossible situation.” The elephant in the room was let out! Of course you can’t get blood from a stone, that is so obvious.

There is a tricky dynamic between confidence, spending, investment, disposable income, indirect taxes and direct taxes, which has us barely hanging in there. Without confidence we have not been spending, which has impacted on tax take and look what’s happened.

The feeling and atmosphere I witnessed since last week reminds me of the terror and fear that gripped everyone and resulted in choking the life out of the economy at the start of 2009.

Without a huge package of Real Positive Initiatives (RPI and not RIP!) that help to generate spending and job creation in the economy, some of which we heard about from Grant Thornton last week on Newstalk (for example in Australia 100% Capital allowances were introduced to encourage spending and investment) to go with some necessary cutbacks, where there is still serious excess we will in serious bother.

Do we need to understand about making bread if we want to avoid being toast?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications


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