Staying Alive in a Declining Economy

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Staying Alive in a Declining Economy
Stephen Brooks
Liberty University

Abstract
In 2007, the United States was officially declared to be in “recession.” Incomes had drastically reduced; prices had significantly increased; and businesses had begun to collapse. In order for businesses to stay alive in declining conditions they had to revamp their marketing strategies. They have had to adopt more focused marketing campaigns. In addition, companies had to streamline their hiring process to focus on hiring multi-skilled individuals. Many have restructured their company by retraining their staff to take on cross-functional roles. Others have consolidated by acquiring other companies, downsizing their present company, and combining internal processes. Two such companies to manage to stay alive in this economic crisis are The Walt Disney Company and Wal-Mart. These companies have strategically restructured company process, staffing, and investment strategies in order to remain alive in a declining economy.

Introduction
Year 2007 was the “beginning of the end” for some. Life as many knew it, drastically change in a matter of months. An economic downfall was on the rise. The start of such economic downfall began in the United States and spread like an epidemic around the globe. The global economic climate suddenly became dim. It has been coined by some, as the worst crisis since the Great Depression in the United States (Challenger, 2009). Due to the collapse of the housing market and other areas of the U.S. economy, the economic climate of the country began to downfall. Many businesses closed or have been on the brink of bankruptcy due to the rise in cost and the decrease in sales. The unemployment rate began to soar into double digits, prices started to rise, and consumer confidence began to drop. Millions of new homes were being left vacant on the market. Several million families that had a significant drop in income could not afford their homes and begun going through foreclosure. The nation’s health care weakened due to ski-rocket health care costs. Stock markets worldwide began to collapse and millions of Americans immediately lost all of their life savings. 401k accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, and treasury account suddenly became depleted. The national deficit began to soar and national trade began to be stifled. Two of the world’s major trade partners, the United States and Europe, began to feel the effects of a massive decline in trade and transatlantic investment. While holding only 11 percent of the total world population, the United States and the European Union together comprise 54 percent of the global GDP. Both trade giants have developed a transatlantic investment relationship that is valued at more than $3 trillion and employs up to 14 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic (GMF.com, 2012). However, with the effect of the global economic crisis, the transatlantic partners are both struggling with a number of common challenges. These challenges significantly impact both of their positions in the global economy. Here in the United States massive layoffs have been one of the main strategies of survival for many companies. This has greatly affected many areas of life, which has created a snowball effect. Lack of income has caused many families to suffer in many ways. Many do not have money for basic necessities such as food and clothing. One out of every seven American children suffers from chronic food deprivation today (ThrivingAdmistCollapse.com, 2012).  Just the smallest increase in the price of necessities ends up having a huge impact on American families. This impact snowballs down to consumers spending less money in the marketplace. That means companies are yielding less profit. Thus, prices are raised, which perpetually feeds the problem all over again. The downwardly spiraling cycle has caused my companies to fold. They can’t remain in business with little or no profit. The...
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