Forbes Media chairman discusses politics and economy; warns small businesses to watch cash flow “like a hawk”
TREVOSE, PA – October 15, 2012 – Economist and Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes predicts American voters will “fire” President Barack Obama and elect Republican challenger Mitt Romney because he and his running mate put forth positive, sustentative proposals.
“The economy resembles a car on the open highway that should be going 70 mph, but instead is puttering along at 20-25 mph and shows signs of going at an even slower pace,” Forbes said in a recent interview with ASI Radio. “People don’t want more of the same. People want change.”
Forbes’ interview is in advance of a keynote on leadership lessons he’s giving January 7 in Orlando at a trade show hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the $18.5 billion promotional products industry.
In a wide-ranging radio interview, Forbes offered his outlook for the economy, as well as his tips for small-business success. Click here to listen to the entire interview.
Forbes said Romney’s first debate performance, in which he emphasized his pro-growth program and planned across-the-board cuts in income tax rates along with his pledge to clean up the tax codes, will give him the needed edge over President Obama.
“Romney understands – and people grasp this more than ever before – that small and medium-sized businesses are fonts of innovation in this economy and also in job creation,” Forbes told ASI radio’s hosts and listeners.
Recent polls suggest the candidates are now neck and neck. But, Forbes said, “There will be a huge debate after the election on why polls are so contradictory and so all over the place. It will go to the methodology and the modeling, and the whole way we do polling will come into searing examination.”
In addition, Forbes advised small businesses to become an even stronger part of the interactive Web community and predicted more companies will become content creators akin to the model presided over by companies like Procter & Gamble during the “soap opera” era of the 1950s, when companies sponsored TV shows in order to better showcase their products.
“Now we’re all content creators,” said Forbes, a Republican who ran twice for president and who has an estimated net worth of $430 million. “Businesses can no longer just put out the message – they need to interact with customers and potential customers.”
Be prepared for curveballs and remember your company’s purpose, he advised. “If you go forward with that mindset, you will have surprises, but if you remember what your purpose is, you’re more likely to get over these storms, which will be constant,” Forbes said. “What they say is true: You can eat well or sleep well, but you can’t do both.”
In the radio interview, Forbes also predicted that in the next generation the U.S. will become a font for manufacturing again, thanks in part to the country’s “brainpower.”
“More and more manufacturing is impacted by high technology in terms of material and robotics,” he said. “It depends not just on labor costs, but on brainpower, and we’re very good on the brainpower part. Manufacturing’s changing and we’re leading it.”
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.