Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chairman’s Message

score_tjpg_mcculloch This article was written by Ben McCulloch, Chairman, SCORE Orange County.

Thank you for checking in on our newsletter.  We strive to be relevant to your need for business information.  If you’re here for the first time, welcome.  If you’re returning, we’re glad you did.  Either way, before you leave please tell us what more you are looking for.

As our October edition ‘went to press’, the Congress was about to vote on the ‘financial bailout’ package which, you’ll recall, failed to pass the first time.  What a month it has been since:  the $700 billion financial stimulus package finally passed, the Fed decreased the Fed Funds rate and infused cash into the commercial paper markets, and the FDIC increased the maximum insurable amount for deposits.  The securities markets responded with wild fluctuations, for no apparent reason.  And, we’ve just elected a new President.  That’s just in one month!

At our October SCORE chapter meeting we devoted the bulk of our attention to the economic situation.  We compared notes on what our clients – i.e. you – are experiencing, and discussed ways that we can be even more responsive to your urgent needs.  We also compared notes on what we’ve each learned from running businesses during past severe economic downturns. 

I just want to highlight one theme that emerged from our discussion:  that the uncertainty we are feeling right now may not go away in the foreseeable future.  Let me try that another way:  your approach to the near-future should assume that uncertainty will prevail.  As we’ve seen now that the election is behind us, some uncertainties will be clarified as we move forward; but, you can assume others will emerge to make your planning treacherous, and your risks high.

But plan you must.  Dealing with such pervasive economic uncertainty may not be something you’ve had to contend since 9/11, and before that, all the way back to 1990-91.  Though each downturn is different, dealing with them is helped by proven techniques learned by experience.  If you haven’t ‘been here before’, or if you want someone to help you navigate the path ahead, I encourage you to contact us (714.550.7369) for an appointment with one of our counselors.  Also, be sure to check our workshop calendar from time to time, as we may be tailoring selected topics and content to be more relevant to your current needs.

What do you think?  If you have a lesson or technique that helped you through a similar downturn, please share it with us here.