Friday, November 28, 2008

The Big Three Auto Makers – Should They Stay or Should They Go?

I believe that the Free Market works. Plain and simple. Anyone heard of the Edsel? The huge 1957 Ford failure? Ford designed and built the Edsel under intense secrecy and based the design on what was popular at the time, never asking focus groups what they wanted.

When you base your entire sales projections on cars people bought in the past, it’s no surprise that you will not have a big winner on your hands. That’s exactly what’s happening now. Times starting changing many years ago, but the big three auto makers continued to base their design and manufacturing on the past. As a result of little demand, the Edsel died. The Free Market killed it.

Another way of looking at the situation is: Do we really need a new car every four to five years or are the big three creating demand for their products through creative financing and advertising in order to push their gas guzzlers out the door?

In a way I pity the big three. They are weighted down by union demands. Did you know that Toyota pays its workers a similar hourly wage as the big three? Only Toyota is free from union limitations on job descriptions. Workers’ are free to transfer from screwing bolts on dashboards to attaching doors and windows, which is not the case elsewhere. The big three have far too much overhead to make a profit, let alone to invest in new, cutting edge design and fuel economy. Let the free market take care of them.

The big lesson for us here is: create products and services that consumers want and need.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors and Entrepreneurs

Monday, November 24, 2008

Out of touch

I got a taste of what it’s like to be without access to the outside world. For the past ten days I haven’t had internet access – a combination of ISP outage and then a router failure. I’m not a big email fan – I don’t check my email more than two to three times a day, but not being able to send email whenever I wanted to was definitely a hassle.

I found out what it’s like to be out of touch with the market. I have a widget on my desktop that shows the DOW, S&P and NASDQ. Markets go up and down and my clients are affected, but - not knowing how the market is doing made me feel like I was in the dark. I don’t think I could ever go back to not having the internet.

Thank goodness for technology!!!


Friday, November 7, 2008

It Pays to Have an Opinion

A pat on the back for me! Due to my comments regarding Suze Orman and fear mongering, and my comments regarding remaining calm during scary times, I received some press in a well known publication. The Wall Street Journal interviewed me for an expose on Suze Orman.

What’s the lesson here? If you have a something to say, someone will listen. If you toe the line and say what everyone else says, you will remain vanilla.

How about you? Do you have an opinion? Do you have something to say? Then for goodness sake, SAY IT! Don’t sugar coat it.

You and your BRAND have to stand out in the market place. Stand out by not being boring.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors and Entrepreneurs