[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry Report | February 2010 [/private_member]
Edition 4 A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing February 2010
Now is the Time to Prepare for the Fall 2010 Hunting Season
Image courtesy of Alex E. Proimos
With a mixture of positive and negative economic news coming out daily there is volatility and uneasiness amongst businesses and consumers in the US.
The stock market is up from its lows of over a year ago, but there is still uncertainty of whether the increase is due to actual economic productivity or the result of stimulus in the market from the US Government going back to 2007 when the presidential administration and Congress sent checks out to everybody.
An entire industry in the housing sector was blown up artificially by low interest rates in the early 2000s and once the artificial demand lost its stimulus there was a crash back to reality. Since then there has been even more intervention in the markets with attempts at artificial demand and the anticipation of more exhausted demands has consumers and businesses on edge when it comes to confidence in the future.
And while there is volatility in the markets and in the confidence of consumers, there is still real demand for real products and services – both needed and wanted.
And this is where the opportunity for growth is for aspiring businesses.
Americans are worried about their jobs (if they still have jobs they are satisfied with) and this has had an effect on discretionary spending for the past two or so years. And while there has been a retraction in spending, that doesn’t mean that demand for wanted and needed items does not exist.
Demand for items is infinite and companies that can find ways to fill consumer demand despite the discretionary spending retraction will be able to find areas in the hunting industry that are prime for growth and expansion.
Whether it’s extending credit to consumers when they are struggling to make the purchases they have become accustomed to or if it’s finding products to sell that may be a step down in quality and cost, but still fill an emotional need, businesses that are able to connect with the new consumer pains and frustrations will be able to grow and succeed no matter what the economic outlook is.
Opportunity exists and it’s there for you to take.
From Associate Press (Jan 2010):
The government’s response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned.
The problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.
“Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car,” Barofsky wrote.
Since Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining institutions considered “too big to fail” have grown larger and failed to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial system.
Read the entire article Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system
Impact on your business
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a problem caused by over extended spending and extended credit couldn’t be fixed with more extended spending and extended credit.
When the deflationary cycle of consumer and business contraction took hold in 2007-2008, the US Government stepped in and attempted to create demand by handing out borrowed money. It’s an effective tactic in the short-term, but has negative long-term consequences as the end result is simply a worse crash than what would have originally occurred.
It’s a difficult economic climate for any business owner to succeed in, but those who are determined to look for opportunity despite the political influence in the market are the ones who succeed.
When I take a step back and look at the successful business owners that I’ve come in contact with they are often void of strong political affiliation as they simply use their time worrying about that which they control rather than wasting energy on worrying about what may happen in the political happenings.
So while it’s important for research, planning, and strategizing, political and economic happenings are out of the control of businesses and the ultimate focus needs to be on understanding what’s happening in the economy and crafting strategies to succeed in spite of those happenings.
From Gallup (Feb 2010):
At a time when the debate over the optimal role of government involvement in regulating business is a prominent policy debate, new Gallup polling shows that 57% of Americans are worried that there will be too much government regulation of business, while 37% worry that there will not be enough. Half of Americans believe the government should become less involved in regulating and controlling business, with 24% saying the government should become more involved and 23% saying things are about right.
While the American public may favor some of these initiatives [of the US Administration] on an individual basis, the current results underscore the degree to which the average American in a general sense is concerned about too much government involvement in business.
Read the entire article Americans Leery of Too Much Gov’t Regulation of Business
Impact on your business
There is uneasiness among Americans when it comes to Government intervention in business and economic markets.
Consumers and business owners are unsure of how intervention will affect their personal situations, but most Americans appear to be of the feeling that intervention in the economy and the markets will have a negative long-term impact on the economy as a whole.
Understand the uneasiness and remember that’s happenings are ultimately out of your control and there are still growth opportunities despite any political agenda.
From Gallup (Jan 2010):
As the Obama administration and Congress shift their focus to the economy and jobs after the State of the Union, Gallup polling suggests they need to consider quality as well as quantity. One in 10 Americans (9%) believe now is a “good time” to find a “quality job” — a situation that has persisted over the past year, and a huge deterioration in job-market conditions from January 2007, when nearly half of Americans (48%) expressed optimism about finding a quality job.
While Americans disagree about many things — and rarely reflect an overwhelming consensus about anything concerning the economy — their views about the lack of quality jobs are a clear exception; the total lack of optimism about the prospects of finding a quality job in January 2010 is consistent across ages, incomes, genders, and regions of the country.
Read the entire article Americans Agree: Quality Jobs Remain Hard to Find
Impact on your business
Unemployment and underemployment remains one of the most important issues facing consumers and business owners in the United States today.
Official unemployment is at around 10% while underemployment is hovering around 17-18%. Still others in the economy feel they are working harder and longer today for less pay. This group of individuals obviously has a mindset that is retrenched in contraction mode while others that have quality jobs still remain uneasy about their ability to have stability in the near future.
It makes for difficult marketing, but as mentioned before – demand is infinite and consumers still demand that which they need and want. Businesses able to find ways to foster demand whether it’s through credit, lowering of standards or creative marketing will find success in today’s economy.
From Gallup (Jan 2010):
As the Dow Jones average plunged more than 400 points last week, consumers pulled back, with self-reported spending falling 24% from the prior week and 27% from the same week a year ago. This breaks the positive early January trend that saw spending running slightly higher than last year’s comparables. At the same time, economic confidence was about the same as the prior week and Gallup’s Job Creation Index showed that hiring remained essentially unchanged.
Impact on your business
The uneasy feeling amongst consumers stems from the volatility and the questionability in the current economy. Consumers are simply questioning the viability of any sustainable growth in the economy and whether they should be able to count on future stability that could lead them to make more discretionary purchases in the short-term.
As consumer spending continues to fall or flatten over the long-term, it will be difficult for businesses to maintain their current models.
Business models will have to change and it will become essential for businesses to find ways to tap into consumers’ demand despite the new variety of barriers that exist.
From National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (Feb 2010):
In a year when one word, “fewer,” described life in America — fewer jobs, fewer home sales, fewer purchases — hunters were responsible for generating a welcome “more” category, as hunting license sales rose by 3.5 percent in 2009 in states that make up NSSF’s Hunting License Sales Index.
The 12-state index comprises several states from four main regions of the United States. Nine of those states recorded hunting license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.
“Many factors such as weather and the economy affect hunting license sales in any given year, but in 2009 the economy likely had a more significant effect,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis. “While the reasons for the 3.5 percent increase are speculative, past research shows that during slowdowns in the nation’s economy it is possible that people have more time to hunt and that hunters take the opportunity to fill their freezers with nutritious, high-protein meat acquired at lower cost than if a similar amount was purchased at the supermarket.”
States participating in the NSSF License Sales Index are New York and New Jersey in the Northeast; Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee in the Southeast; Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas and Texas in the Midwest; and Oregon and Utah in the West. States were selected for their ability to provide license sales data on a regular basis. The geographical selections were made to offset potential variation in license sales by region. As more states are able to provide necessary data, the number of states will be increased, said Curcuruto.
Read the entire article Hunting License Sales Up By 3.5 Percent in NSSF Index of States
Impact on your business
It was a disappointing hunting season in my home state of Wisconsin so it made me happy to read this report from the NSSF.
It’s good to see that there is some growth or flattening in the hunting industry. Hunters continue to want and need the best hunting equipment and the best land access in order to fulfill their demand for the best hunting experiences and the biggest trophies.
This demand will never cease to exist. New barriers may form like uncertainty, instability, and tightening financial situations, but this simply changes the business model for hunting businesses.
Find ways to break the barriers that exist for your customers and you’ll find success.
From Fathom SEO (Feb 2010):
To blog or not to blog – if that is your question, then reading this post should help you find the answer.
Creating a blog for your company is an excellent way to implement SEO strategy. Many people do not realize the important connections between successful, regularly-updated blogs and SEO rankings. TopRank Blogging recently published a survey covering the “Impact of Blogging on Search Engine Optimization.” Of the 326 participants, 87.4% “successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging” and 94% “reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months.”
Of course, all statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt, but the overall impression you get from this data is that blogging positively impacts SEO functions. The bigger question worth asking is: Why does this happen?
Those who have spent time in the industry and seen the tangible results provided by SEO-friendly blogs can attest that these information creations serve several important functions. Blogging can
Read the entire article What Can SEO-Savvy Blogs Do For You?
Impact on your business
Connecting is an important step for businesses today.
Success will come for businesses that are able to break the barriers that now exist in their customer’s life. Blogging is a great way for businesses that put together a blogging strategy that works to fill a trust void or to break down a barrier in the customer’s life.
Look for the frustrations in your customer’s life and answer those frustrations with a blog.
It’s a difficult economy environment for businesses and consumers today.
Uneasiness and uncertainty exist throughout the demographic spectrum and things don’t appear to be changing as far as confidence and outlook go.
Businesses will find success by finding the new barriers that exist for their customer’s and finding ways for their customer to get past the new barriers. This could be extending credit to someone who may not have the means to make purchase or it may be by connecting with customers via a blog and building a trust that makes customers feel good about making a purchase today that will benefit them.
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DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report.[/private_member]
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