Macro vs. Micro in Business
When you plan your company's growth and create a marketing plan, you have two sets of issues. Macroeconomic issues deal with large moves in the broad economy, including global-economic conditions, trends in interest rates and consumer confidence. Microeconomic issues focus on your actual customers, financial conditions in your community, your relationship with a lender and the specific needs of people who buy from you. Each financial realm can help you guide your business.
When you are ready to launch a new product or service, it helps to understand what's going on in the market at large. For example, if you see that worldwide purchases of mobile devices are down, you may want to reconsider a campaign to advertise a new smartphone. Similarly, if you see that more and more people are interested in having websites, it may be a good time to launch your website design service. Macro-economic trends do not always apply in your region or neighborhood, but they should influence your decision making.
You have to remain aware of changes in your customers' tastes and buying patterns. In addition, you need to know what your competition is doing that could affect your sales, and you should understand the significance of layoffs or new hiring in your region. These are extremely local influences that can affect your marketing decisions. For example, if many of your customers have suffered from downsizing and are newly unemployed, it might be a good time to offer discount products. Conversely, if your neighborhood is showing signs of increased prosperity, you might be able to emphasize quality in customer service instead of price in your marketing campaigns.
It's easy to say you want to double sales in one year, but if your plans run counter to what the economy is doing, you might have a faulty goal. Planning for your business requires sensitivity to what national and global economies are going through, as well as the growth rates for small businesses like your own. For example, if the economy is growing at 2 percent, you know that your plans for 10 percent growth would require some extraordinary efforts and circumstances.
Your local business conditions can tell you what kind of plans are reasonable. If you see a demand rising in your area despite the national trend, you can make plans based on meeting that increased demand. For example, you could plan to grow sales and increase inventory because of local market signals. On the other hand, you might cut back on your plans to open new stores if you see that many people in your region are experiencing financial difficulties. Even if national figures show otherwise, your business plans could become more conservative to match your local conditions.