You can feel the excitement in the air, the tense expectation as all of us, including businesses of all kinds, our consumers and all those hungry for a job, hear the news that the end of the recession may, in fact, be closer than we might dare to think. According to a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics, roughly 74% of the respondents anticipated that the recession would come to an end by the third quarter, with 19% expecting the turnabout to happen in the last three months of the year and another seven percent forecasting it to be in the first quarter of 2010.

"While the overall tone remains soft, there are emerging signs that the economy is stabilizing," reported NABE's president, Chris Varvares. "The survey found that business economists look for the recession to end soon, but that the economic recovery is likely to be considerably more moderate than those typically experienced following steep declines," he added.

Therefore, while there is some hope for the remainder of the year, the road to economic health is expected to be a tumultuous one. Our consumers still remain wary, concerned by the persistent risk factors, such as the unemployment rate, credit crunches and the housing market. In fact, NABE panelists believe that this hesitancy in our consumers is a feature that is here to stay.

This news is a double-edged sword: It is a positive sign that the recession is beginning to abate, but how do we, as service providers, elicit a cautious consumer to buy into our services or, even more basic, pay us in a timely manner to remain sustainable as a business? If anything, the financial crisis has taught all of us that a business that is smart and efficient is one that will remain open. The lesson that all of us should carry with us, even as this historic time in our lives fade, is that optimization of all of our resources should never be overlooked. I encourage you to become involved in this discussion on our exclusive DOCUMENT online community (on What lessons have you taken away from this recession? Do you agree with economists who say the end is in sight?

With this in mind, organizations who invest in managing their communications strategy, operations and resources surely will come out ahead in this race for sustainability. Please join us at our annual DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, October 5-7, in Chicago to learn first-hand the best practices and strategies to not only remain solvent, but also become best-in-class. It's an investment that your executives will thank you for. Register today at, and I will see you there!

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