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Keeping an eye out for signs of recovery

Franchisees and franchisors have been spending so much time of late looking to protect their business, it’s easy to forget the importance of keeping an eye out an out for signs that business is on the up. Perhaps Ben Bernanke was being optimistic when he said he expects the economy to come around by 2010, but that shouldn’t stop entrepreneurs from being attentive to promising indicators.

Writing for Business Week, technology expert Gene Marks offers a few common sense pointers that will give entrepreneurs a pretty good sense that the economy is beginning to veer back towards better times. He says to study commodity prices and interest rates, as well as consumer attitudes:

Experts and pundits can do all the analysis they want but the reason why the auto, real estate, financial services, manufacturing, and just about every other industry has slowed or declined is because people are…duh…spending less. So here's another point of genius that most small business owners know: When people feel more secure, they'll start spending more. Everything trickles up, and down, from the consumer. Whether they're in Cleveland or Qingdao. And no matter what our business is, we'll be affected.

Finally, Gene says to keep an eye on the media’s handling of the recession story. Once those grim recession stories begin to give way to media coverage of people who’ve beaten the economic downturn, you can be sure the nation’s economic mood has radically altered.

The media will have a big impact deciding when our country emerges from this recession. Go to Google Trends and search for both "Recession" and "Recovery." When the number of times "Recovery" is mentioned exceeds the number of times the word "Recession" is mentioned, that means the media has now become bored with the "Recession" and instead wants to talk about the "Recovery." The talk of our economic "Recovery" will then become the new news story.

Keep these things in mind over the next months and you may be able to perfectly synchronize your leap into franchising with the renaissance of the American economy.

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