Counselor Commentary: Tune Out The Noise

A Little Ignorance Can Go A Long Way

Andy CohenYesterday was quite a day in the business world. The New York Stock Exchange closed for three hours in the middle of the day because of a technical glitch, United Airlines flights were grounded after a similar technical problem (it was the second time in the past six weeks that this happened to United), and the Wall Street Journal website was inaccessible for a period of time in the middle of the day. While each of the companies said their problems were caused independently and weren’t related to any kind of cyber-attack, many were skeptical considering the coincidental timing of the events.

And, all of this fails to even mention the Wednesday stock market dive, problems with the economy in China, and the Greece financial disaster that is causing many global stock markets to fall over the past week. So, yeah, the business world is awash in strange news at best and troubling news at worst.

These are the kind of times, though, when businesspeople need to put their head down and ignore the noise around them. No, we’re not suggesting you plug your ears and lah-lah-lah your way through the next few weeks and months, but a little ignorance can go a long way toward running your business more effectively. You don’t need to know every twist and turn that will lead up to an ultimate deal to save the Greek economy from itself. And, every time another company’s “technical glitch” causes an outage of some sort, it doesn’t mean you have to stop everything you’re doing and figure out a way to totally lockdown your data and computer systems.

The fact is that despite the noise, the U.S economy is on rather stable footing right now – and the ad specialty industry is, as well. Private sector job creation is growing at an average of more than 200,000 per month – one of the leading signs of a growing economy – and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3%. Plus, in the promotional products sector specifically, the Counselor Confidence Index (a measure of distributor outlooks) has been at or near record highs for the past four quarters. And, a recent Counselor survey showed that 82% of distributors say that client marketing budgets are either increasing or remaining stable.

Now is the time to focus on your own business and its opportunities for sales and growth. The education, health care and financial sectors (despite the daily fluctuations of stock indexes) are as strong as ever, and up-and-coming markets like non-profits, technology and hospitality are providing distributors with a wealth of opportunities to expand their businesses. So, take the time this summer to do what your business does best – create unique and memorable promotions for clients who are still looking to market their companies or organizations in big ways. Focus on that, and it’ll allow you to ignore some of noise in the business world around you.