and Home Business
Market Monthly Newsletter
To subscribe or see
more samples, please visit
In this issue you'll find:
Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is a wonderful day to remind ourselves of how beautiful our world is. Earth Day is also a good day to remind ourselves that we need to remain diligent about preserving our earth's resources -- forests, air, soil and water -- for future generations.
The U.S. economy is strained right now, and showing weakness. Locally, many of Silicon Valley's technology companies are doing quite well: Intel Corporation's 2005 first quarter net income increased 25% over the first quarter of 2004, Yahoo!'s first quarter income doubled, and Google's net income increased fivefold. General Motors Corp., however, had an operating loss of $2 billion in the first quarter, a reversal from the operating profit of $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2004. Both General Motors and Ford Corp. are reducing production levels.
Higher gasoline prices are beginning to take their toll on the economy. The U.S. has become much more energy efficient than in the past, as we switch to more fuel efficient cars and energy efficient appliances and production processes. Still, energy is an important input into virtually all businesses, and so economy wide we are beginning to feel the strain of higher global oil prices. The cost of finished energy goods was up 16% for the 3 months ending March 2005, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index.
The historically low interest rates we've experienced over the past 4 years are also beginning to place a strain on other resources and feed inflation. Construction materials prices were up 9% for the 3 months ending March 2005, after having risen 10% for all of 2004. Consumer inflation, too, has been rising up to levels not seen since 1990. Consumer prices rose at a 4.2% compound annual rate for the 3 months ending March 2005 -- transportation prices were up 10% and medical prices are up 6%.
How will the higher energy prices and emerging uncertainty in the economy affect small business? According to the National Federation of Independent Business, small business optimism fell slightly in March 2005, but optimism was at historically high levels. Since the U.S. is primarily a service economy, and services normally use less energy than the industrial economy, it is possible that rising energy costs will not strain profits.
But high gasoline prices are beginning to impact consumers, and it has been personal consumption expenditures that have kept the economy humming over the past few years. A cautious business outlook overall is warranted at this time.
One industry that does appear to be slowing, slowing its double-digit growth rate that is, is the yoga industry. Our Market Brief this month highlights the growing popularity of the yoga market and reasons for it's likely slowdown. And in our Marketing from the Trenches column this month, Kendall SummerHawk reminds us of the simple basics of a good marketing plan with her article, "How do I get started with my marketing?"
For many of us, it can be an article about "re-starting" our marketing efforts: It's always good to get back to the basics when running a small business.
Enjoy this issue of Small and Home Business Market eNewsletter.
And have a happy Earth Day!
All the best to you,
------ The March S.F. Bay Area Economic Outlook is available --------
The good news is that the San Francisco Bay Area job market is recovering, after 3 1/2 years of decline. If you'd like a complimentary .pdf copy of the March 2005 issue of The San Francisco Bay Area Economic Outlook, e-mail me at email@example.com.
Or, you can download your issue directly at http://www.econosystems.com/SFOutlook2004.htm
The Outlook is a 4-page quarterly analysis with summary graphs that enable readers to quickly stay informed about the Bay Area economy. Employment, real estate, venture capital investing and business expectations are covered.
Can you say “Namaste?” The U.S. Yoga Market Approaches $3 Billion, Quickly
by Anne Ramstetter Wenzel, M.A.
Americans are expected to spend $2.95 billion in 2005 on yoga classes and products in 2005, according to a study conducted for Yoga Journal (www.yogajournal.com).* The study revealed that 7.5% of U.S. adults, or 16.5 million people, practiced yoga in 2004, up 5.6% from the 2003 and 43% from 2002. Yoga instruction is now offered at more than 60% of U.S. fitness clubs (see “Big business lunges for a piece of fat yoga profit,” by Julia Schmidt, USA Today, August 30, 2004). Yoga studios are springing up across America.
According to the Yoga Journal Survey, 77% of yoga enthusiasts are women and 23% are men. Young adults now make up the fastest growing segment of the yoga market: the number of persons 18-24 years old who practice yoga increased 46% in 2004. By age, 29.1% of those who practice yoga are 18-34 years old, and 41.6% are 35-54 years. In 2003, 30% of yoga enthusiasts had household incomes of over $75,000 a year, and almost 50% had a bachelor’s degree or higher (compared to 16% of Americans adults overall).
LeisureTrak’s report “The Evolving Summer Marketplace” echoes Yoga Journal’s findings: From 2000 to 2004, yoga participation increased by 122%. Yoga made it to LeisureTrak’s the top 20 fitness activities list for the first time in summer 2004.
What’s yoga’s allure? The top 3 reasons given by people who practice yoga are stress reduction, flexibility and weight control. In addition, 93% of the respondents to Yoga Journal’s 2003 survey said yoga has helped them better balance their lives.
The yoga accessories market is growing along with the practice. San Francisco-based Timbuk2, a 15-year-old maker of messenger and other bags, introduced their own yoga bag two years ago.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, “As the practice of yoga has become more popular in recent years, this workout accessory has gone from functional to fashionable, with brightly colored and ornamental mat bags rivaling the trendiest handbags” (see “Karma Cases: As Yoga Warms Up, Handbags are Beginning to Get a Workout,” by July Zeveloff, WWD, July 26, 2004).
The Timbuk2 yoga bag has an external mat holder and is roomy enough for a change of clothes. Macy Allatt, marketing manager for Timbuk2, told Women’s Wear Daily, "Yoga has been a big growth market. Our bags are designed for the person who gets up early to go to work and then goes to yoga after."
Growing interest in yoga is helping to increase activewear sales at sports stores and fitness centers. "It is now totally acceptable to wear what you had on in yoga class to lunch with your friends, take your children to the park or to do errands," said Marian Baker, buyer for the retail shop at Equinox, a fitness club chain.
Other growing markets include yoga instructional videos and yoga vacations. USA Today’s Schmidt points out that the mainstream department store Target now sells 17 different yoga videos. And the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, the nation's biggest yoga retreat center, has experienced double-digit growth in the number of guests to its center in the past two years.
Will Yoga’s phenomenal growth continue? Back in mid-2003, Stephen Hoch, professor of marketing for The Wharton School worried about the bottom falling out of the yoga market:
“It seems to me that the popularity of different sports is reasonably volatile. Something can become really popular; then it’s just a fad and it’s replaced by something else.
There are lots of substitutes for yoga (see “The Experts Weigh In” by David Abrutyn, Inc. Magazine, July 2003)” But is yoga really a sport? The U.S. National Institutes of Health classifies yoga a complimentary and alternative medical therapy (see the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, http://nccam.nih.gov/), and many turn to yoga for its health benefits. According to the American Sociological Association, “Yoga is seen as a ‘stress management’ technique with numerous health insurance plans even paying for classes. (see “Asian Culture Is Changing Mainstream America” http://www.asanet.org/media/asianamerica.html)."
Yoga market growth may have a limit, however, precisely due to its roots as a spiritual and health practice. "Because yoga has been growing in leaps and bounds, that does not mean that by the year 2050, we'll all be yogis. Some people will never be interested in anything having to do with health or Eastern spirituality," says Laurence R. Iannaccone, Ph.D., professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia (see “Yoga, Inc.” by Russell Wild, Yoga Journal, November 2002).
A slowdown in the growth of the yoga market may already be on the horizon. In “Market Responds to Cardio Comeback,” Women’s Wear Daily Magazine (March 24, 2005) says, “The days of the downward dog and tree pose aren’t over, but many health clubs are making a big return to offering high-energy classes such as boxing, fitness dance and trampoline.” Is Americans’ enthusiasm for the 5000 year-old practice of yoga a fad or a longer lasting trend of embracing the stress reduction and life balance that enthusiasts say yoga brings them? Time will tell, but growth in the yoga market will likely to slow from the double digit rates of the past few years.
* Data for the Yoga Journal survey were collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau (HISB), which performed the survey design and data analysis. The poll surveyed over 4700 respondents -- a statistically representative sample of the total U.S. population.
© 2005 Econosystems
do I get started with my marketing?
Does marketing your business seem overwhelming? Have you wondered how you were ever going to fit marketing into your weekly workload?
I know that marketing is usually an entrepreneur's least favorite activity to do! Every week I receive emails from entrepreneurs who are ready to get their business off the ground, but don't know where to start. Sound familiar?
I'm going to share with you 5 strategies you can take to get started marketing your business, or re-vitalize your existing marketing. These 5 strategies have been used by entrepreneurs over and over again, with one consistent result: greater confidence, energy and enthusiasm for marketing, AND more clients!
Get crystal clear on who your choice client is.
Why? So you know where to direct your marketing time, money and energy! I can talk for hours about the concept of choice client (look for more about this in future articles at www.KendallSummerHawk.com).
In a nutshell, your choice client definition clearly describes the kind of person you most want to work with. It does NOT mean this is the only person you will work with. It DOES mean this is the only kind of person you will spend your marketing time, money and energy on.
Develop a strong, compelling list of benefits your clients receive from working with you.
Once you orient your thinking, your language and your approach around the results you deliver, you will never be at a loss to describe your business again.
Design 2-3 tiers of services you can offer.
Include at least one way prospective clients can sample what you do with no commitment on their part.
Create 3 ways you can consistently reach your choice client. The keyword here is consistency. Even the best marketing approach won't work well if it's only done sporadically.
If you enjoy writing, then write an article twice a month. Love networking? Go to networking events twice each week. Want to build your referrals through strategic partners (a fancy term for those people who share your choice client)?
Create a list of other businesses that share your choice client and contact four of them each week until your list is exhausted.
Consistency is one of THE easiest ways to be successful building your business!
Make time in your daily calendar for marketing.
Schedule this time as you would an appointment with a client, and then honor that appointment with yourself!
Kendall SummerHawk is renown for creating fresh, innovative programs and products for entrepreneurs who want to turn their unique brilliance into greater profits. Her Marketing Makeover Kit, Website Wisdom, and HorseWise Brilliance Unbridled coaching program have helped hundreds of business owners create client-capturing marketing results.
Visit www.KendallSummerHawk.com for free articles on marketing and business growth.
CHECK OUT THE iLEARNCAFE at http://www.joanncorley.com/ a unique 24/7 on-line learning resource for professionals. You can listen to the audio files at the iLearnCafe online or at any time you want: Download the iLearnCafe mini training sessions (2 to 3 minutes long) as audio clips and save them to your PC, PDA, cell phone or MP3 player. For example, “STUFF MANAGEMENT: AN INTRODUCTION TO GETTING ORGANIZED” and “Words Create Reality” are great, truly “bite sized” training sessions that the listener wonderful food for thought. Click on "The iLearnCafe" link at the top of www.joanncorley.com.
“3 SECRETS FOR EFFECTIVE NETWORKING:”
If you live or work in the S.F. Bay Area, you can take Sri Dasgupta's free Small Business Administration workshop on June 21, 2005: See http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?binid=1&bevaID=85585.
Sri Dasgupta is a Certified Integral Coach and owner of Get-Unstuck.com. Sri has a refreshing approach to networking: You'll never feel pressured to memorize an elevator speech or "work a room" again!
------------------------ Congratulations! ---------------------------
Small and Home Business Market subscriber Dawn Rivers Baker has published her third fiction title through her publishing firm Bridghid's Fire Books. It's entitled, The Dragon's Lair, and is authored by Lisa Guilfoil. Learn more at:
Copyright 2005, Econosystems. All rights reserved.
If you enjoyed reading Small and Home Business Market Monthly, please forward this eNewsletter to your friends!
To subscribe, visit http://www.econosystems.com/newsletter.htm
To subscribe or see
more samples, please visit
Articles | Market Research |
Workshops & Speeches | About Us | Economic Outlook | Testimonials | Links | Contact Us
© Econosystems - All
Menlo Park, California
(available in US & Canada only)