We have seen an increase in Snowbirds from Northern States into Southern States. It is truly phenomenal the difference between now and a few years ago. I attribute this to the mobile nature of our society, me included and the use of modern technology, such as cell phones, GPS devices, and Internet availability in many places to hook up to and now for the first time we are seeing a proliferation of services in major markets such as LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Phoenix of Ricochet, Inc. the first main system which came on the scene.
Soon as in a few months we will be seeing Internet Direct the GM Hughes system similar to the Direct TV idea for motor homes that you can point at the satellite anytime, anywhere providing clear skies and no obstructions, such as buildings, mountains, bridges or trees. These systems will be rolled out for use in the Trucking Industry and over the road independent drivers and also to RV whizzes.All these tools will increase the number of snowbirds migrating and smart businesses will be taking advantage of this location and customer variation to help with not only profit but also skilled labor. Several areas in AZ, CA, NM, and TX as well as GA and FL have areas, which cater to these snow birds and often cannot handle the volume of people every year. We have witnessed Fed Ex increase route drivers to handle the volume in many cities and even rent additional units and then in summer work these drivers doing other type of work until traffic picks up again for Christmas. Let us look at this scenario.
People live half-year one place and Half year somewhere else. The customer base also moves half and half.have talked to franchisees of large companies and small business owners a like who say; I cannot wait until the busy season again. What kind of statement is that? The busy season is every season if done correctly. And why pick a location to run your business if every location is more suited? Snow Birds are needing activities to keep them busy and increase in fuel costs to travel to the new winter time area to live increase along with energy costs and food costs (remember even though we supposedly have no inflation, everything we buy will go up due to fuel costs).
People in States like OR, ID, WA, MT,WY, ND, SD, IA, IL, WI, OH, NY, MA, NH, RI, CT, VT, ME, MI, and provinces like Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan have been traveling to other parts of USA for years and the numbers are also increasing. Even though we are in a an interesting weather period and the weather has been relatively nice in WA, OR, ID, MT, WY snow birds is on the increase. Well they predict another 2% in 2005 and 2% more in 2006 and we just came from a 3% increase in 2003-2004. So we now see 2+2+3=7 and that is 7% in only three years.
Now in the future as fuels to heat increase and jobs decrease all those people will migrate South again choosing to stay. Also we have had an increase in Hispanic over the border crossing from the South into states such as IL, NJ, GA, FL, TX, AZ, CA, NM, NV. As many as 600,000 permanent new residence per year.
You would think that this labor would be sufficient to handle the increase in the snowbird traffic, but it is not. Also as the population of Northern States increases those residence are interested in moving and staying all year in the Southern States which increases needs of those consumers for service businesses.This will include gas, food, services, and even taxes. The tax base to employ the workers and the government dwindles as less goods are bought by the consumers who are in different states half the year and many choosing to stay all year. Especially those in IL, where it is hot and muggy in the summer and ass freezing cold in the Winter.
As taxes increase on sales of goods and property taxes increase to cover needs of local governments those governments will need to be looking at hiring part time half year help and trading with sister cities in other states of the same size, same policies and same equipment in operations. If government does not do this correctly soon then they will become inefficient and need to disappear. For instance a small city, which cannot handle its duties should return to County control. Those Counties, who cannot handle their duties for animal control, sewer, sheriffs, etc, need to be gobbled by larger counties or the state. Redundancies in government are costing too much money to consumers, and thus effecting quality of life.If the populations move around, then so too should government resources to cater to the needs of those tax payers who are paying into the system, where ever they are.
Businesses must cater to the customers and government should cater to the people. Businesses should be watching all demographic shifts in population temporary or otherwise; trendy or cataclysmic. Business should respond to the needs of the consumer without hesitation and without excuse. It should have already been done, but if it has not then now is better than never. We must be a metamorphic for the customer, so should any business person who cares to prosper in now or in the future.
Government should be no different in its mission to provide welfare, health and allow each American to pursue their American Dream, whatever that dream might be. As for the government the ends are justified as long as the mission is truly fulfilled. To find the answer to this question stop any citizen on the street and ask them what they think and what they are concerned about, after all those are your customers.If you tell the customer what they want in your business, they will only buy it until they find out what they really want. Advertising, PR, and all the help you can muster from the media cannot work forever. Although it is said that perception is reality; think to yourself, is it reality? NO, perception is perception; that is a reality.
But reality is truth and that only changes with the relativity of the situation and the proximate of one dimensional time and their desires at the moment of payment in the case of a consumer. What does all that mean? It is simple, it means that the customer will buy what they want when they want for the reasons they want and if they later feel they have been tricked they will stop buying and be angry and not return if they can get a better substitute elsewhere. A government who is not reasonable and responsive to her clientele will find those customers and consumers unwilling to support her in heart, body and soul. That is not teamwork and in such a case the government will lose it's social contract with the people, which obviously makes governance that much harder. This will force the government to use more coercive techniques, which will in fact impede the element of freedom that the citizenry is looking for, thus forcing a continuing downward spiral. In a business it is much the same, as the customer votes with their dollar and if you do not service the customer someone else will.
We built this country together and we need to be receptive to each others needs. I see know reports on the allocation of government resources addressing the 7% increased population base of snowbirds, yet the trend continues and is not going away. Shouldn't all business and our government be thinking here to increase profits and/or efficiency? Think about it..
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By: Lance Winslow