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Be a PEST.
You can't help but turn on the TV these days and hear
about some new technology or development. Entire
organizations are born and die on the basis of a single
Most small firms have missed the crucial lesson of watching
Remember the following Acronym: PEST
1. Political. Never underestimate the power of
politics to mess up things for you. Statistics show
that the market undergoes a reversal following a major
Presidential election. There's an entire strategy named
"Presidential Cycle Dollar Cost Averaging" based on
Think that's it? Think again. War effects the
price of hundreds of commodities. Trade agreements
effect the buying power of our currency. Changes in laws
effect everything from the creation and new product
development, to marketing and everything in between.
2. Economic. If you had began buying
dot.com stock short back at the beginning of the fall a
few years ago, you could've retired early. Of course you
can never predict these kind of dream situations, but
you can predict certain trends.
A close friend of mine lost his job as a
programmer when it was sent overseas. Today he works
as an "outsource re-integration engineer" helping
companies integrate and overcome the problems of
outsourced software. Shipping jobs overseas has become
an economic reality for many people. But a few smart
people have learned to take advantage of this situation
to turn things around. The power of distributed work
projects can be seen on any freelance site you find.
3. Social. When people get used to an
idea, it becomes a powerful business model. It takes
nothing more than a quick glance in the newspaper to see
how some movies spawn an entire cottage industry. Even
years from now there will be a tremendous market for
fan-based creations based on hits like The Matrix and
The Lord of the Rings. How many times, in the last
month, have you heard about "low carb" diets? Think
anyone is making money there? Oh yea.
4. Technology. Ignore technology at
your own peril. Whether it's legal or not technology
will make you obsolete if you ignore it. Take one look
at the recording industry. They're holding on for dear
life... and it's getting worse and worse for them as
wireless broadband and smaller computers make sharing
files easier and easier.
If you did a poll of teenagers today, how many of
them do you think would tell you that it was wrong for
them to share files? Percentage wise... not very many,
right? These are the same people that will be making
the laws for the next generation. Once a business model
is obsolete, it's dead. Horse and Buggy makers aren't
a thriving industry, but automobiles continue to be
an important part of the economy.
Make it a point, from this day forward, the
actively stay on top of new developments. Read magazines,
check out news sites, and read articles like this. Always
keeping in mind the PEST method. By watching new trends
you'll not only keep from being blindsided by something
new, you'll also be able to stay on the profitable side
of the cutting edge without bleeding to death in the
Aaron Colman helps you create results on the net,
and specializes in web design and custom script work.
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