One of the most dissonant and anger-filled elections in memory is now history, and presumably in most cases, the results are in. Where do we go from here? Or is it like your 21st birthday, where the day you turn 21 is remarkably the same as the day before?
NO MIRACLE CUREPolitically and economically, the next couple of years are not going to be much different than the last two years. Regardless of which party captures control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate - unless both chambers are won overwhelmingly by veto-proof margins - acrimonious legislative gridlock will remain pretty much the order of the day. The only difference will be those who call the shots at the Congressional level; the President still holds the veto pen. And business’s biggest bête noire - uncertainty and instability - will be with us for some time to come on the economic, legislative/regulatory, and litigation fronts. Get used to it, and prepare to deal with it.
Who won, who lost, and who bolstered their 2012 Presidential odds coming out of the 2010 midterm elections may be great short-term sport for the pundits and consultants, but it is of very little consequence. The fact is, it doesn’t matter because there is nothing the U. S. government or the Federal Reserve or tax-cutters or the reduced-government advocates can do to make our current economic aches and pains go away any sooner than they will naturally over time. Although things are looking better day to day than they have in the last several months - and the recovery seems to be sustainable - the enormous financial trauma from which our nation is just now regaining consciousness will take years to ultimately heal.
No amount of additional stimulus - including otherwise much-needed attention to national infrastructure needs - no amount of risky Treasury-bond-purchasing gambits, and no amount of market-building and consumer-motivating, tax-incentive (spending) subsidies will make things better any time sooner. There are no silver bullets, and certainly not from the guns of elected officials.
Job One right now for everyone in the Federal government: addressing and resolving the mega-threat posed by a deficit-burdened federal budget and an out-of-control national debt. Next to the menace of domestic and international terrorism, these two issues are the most challenging to the long-term wellbeing of this Nation – including business at every level - issues that, if left unaddressed will make the last two years look like a walk in the park.
BRING THE BENEFITSo, don’t wait for government incentives, subsidies, or other inducements to stimulate that dormant marketplace out there. Government is not in any mindset or condition to do your job for you. There is a burgeoning, yet sleeping market out there, no question, and there are terrifically good reasons to retrofit, upgrade, optimize, and replace existing boiler systems. There are common-sense, bottom-line-driven arguments to be made that go to the heart of today’s public consciousness: greater efficiency, better air quality, lower maintenance costs, to name but a few.
The products, systems, and services you have to offer are less expensive and faster-acting alternatives to vast new government ventures, and they not only address real issues and save money, but they also provide solid manufacturing and service jobs as well. It’s up to you to exploit those arguments. It’s time to let go of the “If you need me, I’m here,” marketing approach and time to get down to the serious business of making a case to prospective customers for why the time for deferred and run-to-failure maintenance is over, and about how you can proactively help them get their energy and heating/hot water houses in order.
ABMA will do its part to help you to make sense of the business climate and changing market trends. After all, we understand that companies that nurture pragmatism, flexibility, awareness, and resiliency are more likely to prosper in these ambiguous times.