Pick up the papers and you could be excused for thinking that we are headed for an economic disaster.

It seems not a day goes by that there isn’t a story of another factory closure.  Unemployment numbers are creeping up, consumer confidence is on the way down and even the banks are divided on which direction interest rates will take.

But is it really all doom and gloom?  We don’t think it is.

It is evident that there are certainly some pockets of the economy that are suffering and we acknowledge the harsh reality of those businesses and individuals who are experiencing it.  If you are a blue-collar worker in Geelong right now, this is very, very real and very raw.

However, what we are witnessing is a long-overdue structural shift in the Australian economy.

Just like your business, Australia must adapt to changing circumstances.  Australia must be innovative and play to its strengths and acknowledge and address those inherent challenges such as size of the marketplace, cost of labour and our fluctuating dollar.  Australia must learn to view change as an opportunity.

Take online retail as an example.  Whilst traditional were searching for answers or a place to lay blame saw their market share slip away and upstart businesses like Shoes of Prey and The Iconic experienced stunning growth. The world is their oyster because they chose to recognised the opportunity that the changing landscape represented and acted on it.

Even with the manufacturing sector there are clear pockets of strength – take the craft brewing industry as an example.  They have a product that others just don’t have and the dynamics within that industry are positive.

Start-ups continue to make their presence known and the word out of the banks is that they have a higher appetite for risk than at any time in the past few years.

So whilst many would like to project a negative perception of what 2014 holds for business, we think it holds only opportunity and lots of it. It’s about understanding your customers; recognising what they want and addressing it in a timely manner for success. May 2014 be a prosperous year for you.

PS – If you are at all worried about your ability to meet the challenges that lay ahead, please give us a call on 1300-656-141.  We can provide clarity around where you stand, what lies ahead and what to do about it.

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