You gamble, you lose.
Recently, I was watching a documentary on gambling. They sent two guys out with a set amount of money; one played 'smart', avoided the sucker bets, worked the odds. The other just played for fun.
In the end, the one who played for fun had a tiny bit left, the one who played the odds had nothing left.
But the obvious answer was -- if you gamble, you'll lose, no matter what you do.
Silver linings, anyone?
Over the last four months, I have several times challenged readers of this blog, and have asked innumerable people in my store, to give me a silver lining in the economic cloud. "Give me some blue sky," I've said. "I'll listen. Give me a ray of sunshine!"
No one can really come up with anything better than, "Oh, maybe it will be O.K."
Buzzzzzzz. Wrong answer.
The only one I could come up with was an amorphous change of heart on the part of the consumer. At first, I thought there might be an Obama bump. But, if anything, sales got worse after his election. (There was a wave of bad weather, but still....)
Obama and 'change' is pretty much still the only silver lining I can find. His stimulus programs, whatever they may be, won't really effect things materially for months and months.
Maybe just announcing them? Maybe?
On the other hand:
1.) Housing isn't going to rebound anytime soon. Foreclosures and short sales will continue to rule the day. I think this will get much worse before it gets better.
2.) Construction. Whenever the currently being built projects are done, that'll be it.
3.) Employment. Hey, I just let my employee go.
4.) Retail. More closing than opening, bigger places closing than opening.
5.) Tourism. Probably not going up, we'll be lucky to stay even. But even if they come, I expect they'll spend less.
6.) National economy. Not looking good, but I think they'll recover before we do.
7.) Comic, game, card, books, industries. Again, not as strong as they've been in the recent past.
Over the next six months, I think Downtown Bend is in for it.....
Local Blue Sky.
But I do see a few things developing that might help.
My location may benefit from the opening of the new Hotel, and the new retail at the end of the block.
With any luck, my new lease won't be too bad. And I have plenty of options.
I've managed to keep debt down, cash reserves, and I have plenty of experience at sudden drops. I managed to get through the entire January ordering period without buying anything but 'sale' product (another way to take advantage of a slowdown.) In about one week from today, I'll be ordering for February, and I have 30% more per month to spend.
Books have been working well for us, and I'm pretty sure I can build on that.
My wife's store continues to do well.
Anyway, I just think it's important to be realistic. Not to gamble. Not to rely on amorphous Blue Sky.