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I was having dinner with a friend of mine last night… she runs her own show. She said business has never been busier. In fact, most of our conversation was about planning her business growth. Odd you might think with the current financial climate.

She is in a business that will feel an upswing in the downturn – she is a clinical physiologist. Another person I know runs a business which gets people back to work after workers compensation claims… he has never been busier.

There are always winners…. but are we ready to advantage of what could be coming our way? Or are we rather too spooked by the media to take business risks?

One of my colleagues at RedBalloon her partner works in Mergers and Acquisitions for a large law firm. She wonders if she will ever see him again he is that busy.

Of course, there are the obvious businesses that boom – the lipstick economy, people eating in instead of going out – so take away food is on the rise (as are the obesity rates). BRW last week listed out a number of businesses that will boom.

RedBalloon for Corporate has found all sorts of opportunities that we did not know were there. Whilst we have been running reward programs and incentive schemes for years, we are finding area’s that previously we did not get to play in. For instance, if a business was running an offshore incentive program – which just got 40% more expensive based on currency fluctuations… I don’t like to think of us as a conciliation prize, but the reality is that at the participants will still get an amazing experience ‘domestically’, rather than there being no prize after all their work…

As bonuses dry up – but people have worked really hard, management is spending smaller amounts but still make sure that they acknowledge their people. They know that if they do nothing – no acknowledgement will cause them much greater harm long term, than the small investment now in a RedBalloon experience.

This supports the 900 local activity suppliers in the RedBalloon community.

So what I see, is it is back to basics, support local which will keep people employed and the economy stimulated. This is a time when our service economy can shine.

It will take a brave person to start a business now…. but there are definitely great opportunities for growth… though it might take a strong stomach.

Tell me your story…

Reader Interactions


  1. Hi Naomi, love your work.

    Yes, agree interesting times ahead. As you know the markets have to adjust, that’s what they do, how long the bear runs who knows.

    In every downturn there is opportunity – from discounted BMW’s to heavily geared investment property fire sales . Grays online will be loving it.

    Retracting markets offer opportunities for land grabs.

    Interesting, if you go back to the last Depression there were two breakfast cereals with roughly equal market share, Kelloggs and Post – one decided to continue to advertise and invest in product development; the other retracted. The tough times didn’t last.

    Smart businesses will focus on people and customer engagement – getting more bang for their advertising dollar (ie online)

  2. Hey Naomi,

    I run a massage business in Melbourne within Hotels, and I’ve definitely seen a dramatic decline in sales over the past few months – on the flip side – our SEDUCTION massage course for couples has been increasing in sales over the past few months.

    But what’s caught my attention the most during this time of global uncertainty has been a side project my partner and I have been working on. $30 Date Night – It was launched only a few months ago and the American’s have been loving it!

    Emma and I have been doing cheap date nights with each other on a weekly basis for almost 2 years now. Early 2008 we thought we’ll make it into an online tool for us to play with (well… only cause we’re lazy – we thought if its sorted on the net, then finding a good cheap idea for date night is as simple as clicking a big red button.)

    Sure the economic climate affects us negatively – but there are still opportunities out there. Even tho my bread and butter is being affected it’s allowing for opportunities in other areas to move along – this makes pulling my hair out a little more bearable.

    (The SEDUCTION experience, also named Make Your Partner Melt is currently on and RedBalloon Days – cheers for the promotion.)

  3. Love it… add a link to a babysitting service and then it’s a one stop shop.

  4. Hi Naomi,

    Great blog. We are one of those brave souls just starting out but I am heartened to hear about your contact in the return to work area. We are a new online resource for employers and coordinators facilitating the injured or ill back to work and health.
    We currently provide free information but are going to be a paid service soon and I must say I’ve been concerned about the timing. It will be interesting to see what happens.
    I think that there will be opportunity for those businesses helping other businesses or individuals to save money or work smarter.

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