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A Consultant's View

Prairie Trail Software, Inc. ............................................................. February 2009

It's Official! It's a Recession. Now what?

It is official. The proper agency has seen the decline and finally (!) stated that we are in a recession. Now what? There are a couple of broad lessons we can learn from prior recessions and economic hard times.

1. What worked in the years leading up to the recession won't work again for many years. Certainly, the large income from originating "sub-prime" mortgages won't come back for a long time. Other growth areas are going into a long term decline also. In the financial transaction business, we saw a lot of money made by ISO's signing up new merchants. In this recession, we are likely to see a large number of retail shops and restaurants go under. That means that ISO's are going to see their income slashed as the banks and other organizations see their market as "easy money" to take.

2. Significant changes will occur in our society. There are always new ideas floating around. People are always trying new ventures and new ways to change how our society operates. During a recession is when these ideas start being adopted. Of these many alternatives, one or two will quickly grow into a viable change for our society. Which one will fly? We never know before hand. But we can be sure of one thing: deep recessions always open the doors to deep changes in our society. For example, it wasn't until the 1930's depression that California became the leader of new fashions and ideas that it is today. Likewise, it was during the recessions of the late 50's and early 60's that the Visa credit card was launched and became successful.

3. Leadership flows to those who act. The natural reaction of most people to hard times is to "hunker down" and try to out last the hard times. It is our natural wishful thinking that if we wait, the good times will come back. That winds up being a "slow death" when the recession keeps rolling on and on. Those who act are more likely to survive even if action after action is proven to be a mistake. For example, during the 1930's, Boeing kept trying new ideas. They even opened a furniture shop in order to keep their workers employed.

We would like to help you act. We can work with you on your ideas for new transactions using cell phones, ubiquitous internet or other ideas.