Al Zylstra, a TrueLeaf Technologies national sales manager based in California, can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He believes the economy is on the upswing and that growers and garden center retailers should be prepared to pounce on the opportunities ahead.
And The Economic Reality Is?
Recession. Depression. Economic adjustment. Financial meltdown. Conflagration of Wall Street and financial industry greed. Housing market bubble bursting. Deleveraging. Or, whatever it is you want to call it! How much longer will it last? What can growers expect this spring?
I’m going to go out on a limb and hereby prognosticate that we will soon see that we’ve already hit the bottom of the trough, and that we have already been bumping along the bottom for a few weeks or so. After another month or so, we will begin the slow, initially jerky but none-the-less steady rise back to economic normalcy–whatever that actually is.
So, you heard it here, and if it proves true, remember that! If not, well, you should read the Wall Street Journal for that kind of information anyway.
How can I say that? Well, first, I spent a chunk of my previous life in the financial industry, learned a few things and endured a few significant economic cycles along the way. I believe history is the best predictor. I read a lot about the economy every day, and I pay close attention to developing economic trends. I’ve had a pretty good track record of anticipating what is going on.
So, if you care to know: First, the news media can only report what has already happened, and it thrives on reporting the most negative aspects of what has already happened. Hence, by carefully reading the economic opinions and recited data, it is revealed over the past couple weeks that a preponderance of the negative news is from a few weeks back (late-November). And much of that has been trending back toward the positive for a couple months already.
The stock market and commodities markets began settling down from their wild gyrations a few weeks ago, and these markets generally reflect bets on future activity–not past results. The financial industry came to the brink of ruin, but it managed to survive by the good graces of the American public and some folks in Washington D.C. who were paying attention for a change. And while not completely behind us, the recovery is beginning.
The auto industry is in the throws of what appears to be a nearly identical process, and with some major adjustments to come, it is not going to be allowed to fail (at least in a wholesale fashion).
The housing sector appears to be at or near the bottom and poised to stabilize as fresh capital and spring demand come into the market. The consumer retail industry is currently engaged in the post-holiday collapse that has been anticipated already by the stock market and will emerge much leaner and smaller in just a few short weeks (but it’s going to sound really bad for a while).
A new executive administration is soon to enter office with all of the promise that it usually brings. Finally, the largesse of taxpayer funds is just beginning to pour into the market in historic portions to stimulate the living tweedle out of us.
Add to all of that the inimitable American public’s refusal to stay down for long and our demonstrated ability to pull ourselves up when things look the bleakest, and you have the makings of a recovery.
The government has arrived to help. How can it go wrong?
What’s it mean? We are back to the one basic reality we all know is the primary driver of the success of our business from one year to the next, something even more fickle than the economy: The weather in spring!
There’s nothing that drives garden center sales like a pleasing weekend forecast and a sunny Saturday! And when people have already been enduring a long winter of bad weather and financial discontent, and they have decided they can’t or shouldn’t splurge on some big luxury ticket, they will probably be even more excited or incited to go pick up some plants to perk up the garden and the deck and get on with life.
Celebrate the news that the economy is improving and get a little more enjoyment out of the “staycation” they’re planning this summer and feeling better about anyway.
Will you be ready to capitalize on it? Or, are you planning to contribute another self-fulfilling prophecy of doom? I think the growers that plan to capitalize on it will win in two ways:
1) They will get the business they usually get, and;
2) They will get the business of the growers and retailers that didn’t plan to capitalize on it.
Do you want to participate in the coming economic recovery? It is coming to a garden center near you soon!