It’s the economy…
Singapore 19th January 2012
In this part of the world we are now in between two major holidays. Xmas and New Year are just behind us, people living in the southern hemisphere (like Australia) are still having their summer break and right ahead we are looking at Chinese New Year starting 23rd January, a time when the Chinese in Asia shuts down. Some have already left for “home” to celebrate with their families. There is definitely a seasonal effect on business. Western countries are slowly getting back into business, with decisions and progress still on the low burner. At the same time the Asians are wrapping up for the Chinese New Year holidays which means they either want you to quickly submit some work before they go or they defer decision till after the holidays. Whatever it is any action (payments for instance!) are now only going to happen well after the holidays.
Bring into the mix the Eurozone worries, the high interest rates in India, the slowing Chinese economy and we have a situation where no-one really knows what is going to happen in the next 12 months. We have jobs in the pipeline, but are they all going to materialise fully, progress within the intended time schedules? Or will we see cut backs and a notable slowdown in the projects. I definitely see it happen already, but whether it is just the seasonal effect or a more cautious approach by our clients is hard to tell. Money in the bank is clearly the measure by which we go, always stay a step ahead of your client when it comes to deliveries. Sounds selfish, but reality has shown that the moment you release work without having received previous payment you will always run behind the facts.
With the uncertainties of the future re-enforcing your base is probably a good preventive action and with that I mean building alliances and strategic partnerships to increase exposure and potential client base. Most of all treasure your existing clients and treat them well…Just sharing some of the worries that play in my mind at the moment and I am sure that I am not alone with these thoughts, regardless whether you are running a small lighting design practice like ours or a multi-million lighting corporation….
Light Watch 3-7: There will always be a future as we as human beings have this never ending urge to invent and innovate. New products will always be developed. Panasonic for instance just received a design award for their latest LED light bulb which has been designed along the lines of a traditional Thomas Edison lamp, including the filament and clear glass…Also the compactness of LED technology allows us now to create fixtures where you wonder where the light comes from!