Confidence on the turn

Has the message finally sunk in? Smart companies will not stop looking for entrepreneurial opportunities. COLIN BENJAMIN

Colin Benjamin

By Colin Benjamin

Despite all the gloom and doom, smart companies should look to the new year for a solid start based on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Consumers around the world have already revised their life expectations, cut back on travel and luxuries, and adjusted their Christmas holiday plans accordingly.

The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence and Westpac Consumer Sentiment profiles show that households have taken it all in and are becoming marginally more positive about the coming months.

They appreciate that governments are handing out lots of money to be spent quickly, after the RBA has dramatically cut interest rates and looks like making a further significant cut before the end of the year.

On 8 and 9 November 2008, the weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rating was up 5.5 points to 95.8. The rise came after a larger than expected 0.75% interest rate cut by the RBA, and also came days after the election of Barack Obama as the new US president. Australians are more positive about their financial situation over the next year, with 37% (up 3%) of Australians expecting to be “better off” financially in a year’s time compared to only 20% (down 5%) that expect to be “worse off”.

This comes at a time when Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law Nick Sherry has finally made a minor move towards transparency in the short selling fraternity, Henry Paulson has made a U turn in the bailout of the incorrigible, and the PM heads to join the last hurrah of George W Bush and encourage a global handout to large banks and corporate failures. The world is waiting for the new boy on the block to bring together congeries of Clintonites who are committed to change.

In the next few weeks we can expect to see each of the state governments recognise that they must invest in local infrastructure projects in the fields of health, education and local government rather than wait for major longer-term projects.

The tax office and the banks must be encouraged to provide a moratorium on their pressures upon SMEs so that liquidity pressures are not followed by a major jump in unemployment.

During this period of transition, with falling oil prices and a weak Aussie dollar, those smart companies that can find offshore markets, and use the internet, should review their business and marketing plans to find innovative, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities that will benefit from the flood of short term cash that will land on the market early in the new year.


Dr Colin Benjamin is Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking Consultant at Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Contact: CEO Dr Jane Shelton. 

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Nobby Kleinman writes: Although the media continues to promote pessimistic news for the future, the reality is that Australians need to stop looking to the US for a fix to the current woes. The US started this, and it certainly isn’t the place to remedy it quickly. So Australians have always had an entreprenurial disposition and kick start their own future instead of waiting for results from elsewhere in the world. We are more than resourceful enough and our dollar is stil worth a dollar in this country. Stop moping around wanting the world to fix the current problem and get out there and do it for yourself. Get on top of things financially in your own back yard while you still can.



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