The lessons of the recession (Page 3)
Nancy Fennell, Broker/owner, Dickson Realty
The recession has brought about a “new normal” in the real estate industry … and we have had to learn to be masters of this environment. We were not able to do this by simply looking and thinking locally … even though Dickson Realty is proud to be a longtime local business. We’ve had to look globally at best practices in our industry, such as cutting edge technology and Realtor continuing education, and adapt them quickly and confidently to remain the market leader.
Laura Furumoto, Owner, Marketing to Go
I learned that what I have always believed and told my clients continuing your marketing efforts during times of economic unrest is the best way to ensure that you come out the other end ahead of the competition is fact. Companies who maintained their marketing efforts are going gangbusters right now. My company also grew as a result, paired with expanding my definition of the perfect client, who may not be in Nevada but across the country. This successfully widened the sales funnel for my consulting services.
Jim Annis, CEO, The Applied Companies
I learned that our motto,”doing the right thing,” applies in any economy. I refused to lay off anyone. Many of my staff are single moms. I could not do that if I had other choices. That meant me and my partner are making a lot less money. That meant sowing seeds then and reaping the harvest now. That meant knowing our numbers, anticipating the downturn as signaled by the temp industry decline, which historically falters during a recession. We put resources into our Professional Employer Organization division to balance anticipated temp division losses. As a result, we doubled the PEO business.
Chris Abts, President and founder, Cornerstone Retirement
Without a crystal ball, many of us could not have anticipated the depth of the market changes over the past year. However, what the Cornerstone Retirement team learned is that we didn’t need a crystal ball. Experience has proven that our strategic planning, asking the questions of and understanding each of our clients’ levels of risk tolerance before the correction occurs was very effective. Our clients weathered the storm and didn’t lose the large margins in investments many others did. We all know that what has worked in the past won’t necessarily work now; advising and encouraging our clients to be advocates keeps them engaged and provides them with a sense of security.
Doug Nelson, CPA, Shareholder, TCI Wealth Advisors Inc.
When we see a bearish market or the economy gets ugly, you’ll hear a few people say, “It’s different this time.” For me, the details around this recent shakeup may look different from what we saw in the ’70s, ’80s, or even the ’00s, but I’ve learned that underlying principles hold true. Every economic downturn starts and matures differently, but will end in a recovery. The equity markets will, over the long term, provide a higher rate of return. Most importantly, “it’s different this time,” will not excuse avoiding to plan for the future or making choices based in fear.
Jeanette K. Belz, President and founder, J. K. Belz & Associates
Adversity brings opportunity. I realized that in these tough times, having all of my eggs in one basket wasn’t a good strategy. So I expanded my business into a field that I am trained in, but hadn’t pursued. I now provide mediation services helping people resolve conflict in a collaborative way. Mediation empowers parties to develop their own solutions and it’s less costly that legal proceedings. It lowers the stress of being in a dispute by getting it over with more quickly. That’s all good at a time when money is tight and stress levels are already so high.
Mike Russell, Chief operating officer, United Construction
We each take away our own lessons from the great recession. For me, the great recession has caused our businesses to focus more on customer service, getting creative, being flexible, developing and running leaner operations. I think we’ve all learned that when it comes to managing the economy, there are no real experts. Accurate political, economic and financial forecasting is almost impossible today. These issues contribute to ongoing business uncertainty, and drives home the fact that the effects of this recession on our nation, our state, our people and our businesses are yet to be fully understood, seen or realized.
Bart Marks, CEO, Rogers Jewelry
Few people have money for luxuries in this economy. Fortunately, many of the things we sell, particularly diamonds, high-end watches and gold, go well beyond luxury, they’re rites of passage; symbols of commitment and achievement. All of these items have increased in value during the recession, which says to me that consumers understand the power and importance of iconic jewelry, enduring values that have always stood the test of time and can be passed down from generation to generation. Even in difficult times, perhaps especially in difficult times, the need to celebrate the most important moments and people in our lives remains.
Mike Wurm, Chief operating officer, Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows
I’ve learned many lessons during this economic downturn. I’ve learned to look at all possibilities, to keep an open mind and to look for opportunities in unusual places. By creating new partnerships, we’ve been able to continue growing throughout the recession. We created a new art program by merging with a struggling non-profit and were also able to open and staff a Washoe County building that was set to close. Now, instead of an empty building, 100 kids per day are being served. I’ve learned to ask, “Is this going to help more kids?” The answer should always be “Yes.”
Jamie Cooke, Financial coach, MC2 Wealth Solutions
In my capacity as a financial advisor during this recession, I’ve seen grown men cry, mild-mannered people get angry, hopelessness in eyes of the jobless and compassionate people pulling together to provide financial support to others. Times like these test our strength, integrity and spirit. I’ve learned to let go of the small stuff and be grateful for the opportunity to help others. Today we have thousands of citizens reaching retirement age who will never experience financial peace of mind. If I’ve learned anything from the recession, it’s to pay yourself first, live debt-free and give to those in need.
Jana Smoley, Executive director, Reno-Tahoe Open
Many people view the RTO solely as a special event, but we are in fact a non-profit organization benefiting other charities through the power of the PGA Tour brand. As a non-profit, the RTO has experienced firsthand the importance of giving back to others, and this recession has magnified that need in our community. In addition, it has reiterated the importance of proving to our sponsors the value they’re receiving from an investment in the tournament. It’s no longer enough just to be involved in a high-profile event. You have to prove your worth.
Tiffiany Howard, a UNLV professor and recent Congressional Black Caucus Foundation senior research fellow, is the lead author of the study aimed at identifying ways banks can help support and invest in Black entrepreneurs.