The Economist recently reported a raft of ‘alternative’ recommendations on how to gauge upcoming economic conditions. One reader suggested monitoring the sale of suppositories as “financial worries and austerity changes in diet cause intestinal disorders”.
Meantime, a vet reports that he believes he’s six months ahead of the market as he pays attention when pet owners start to cut back on non-essential ops for their little furry loved ones.. if neutering ops start to drop off, start selling those shares.
Others think we should be watching the hairdressing world. A rise in the use of basic barbershops combined with news that sales of badger bristle brushes are going through the roof is apparently a result of a return to old-fashioned masculinity as a response to troubled economic times.
Me, I preferred a more telling sign. Edward Ritchie, an investment analyst, tracks some particular Google searches. His analysis of the search term ‘gold price’ indicated a worrying correlation with the peaks and troughs of economic uncertainty in the US. And, what’s really scary is that the searches are now way beyond the previous peak in 2008, a portent of a double dip to come.
For Turnkey, in the world of business software sales, the indicator we look for is more basic. While our new business sales continue to show year on year rises that defy the doomsayers, an ever present discussion point is annual support and, in particular, does it represent value-for money? The more people querying support, the more likely that times are tough and likely to get tougher.
Fortunately, we keep a very detailed log of work performed for clients and can provide chapter and verse on the services provided in the last 12 months. This confirms that the support contract is an essential not a luxury. And our cancellation rate on support is the best in the business i.e. non-existent!