The JSE Blog

I read a statistic that the average person spends nearly 60% of their working life in the office… that’s over 25 years of continuous work. A full third of our life! If we’re spending that much time at work, we may as well enjoy it.

That’s what the JSE blog is all about.

In our monthly posts, we publish (what we hope to be!) helpful business tips both for folks in the industry and the business community in general. Upbeat and insightful pieces that run the gamut from business etiquette (no silver spoons or doilies, we promise!) to creative marketing ideas, personal branding and professional presence to business communication tips. We share our own business experiences and the sage advice of business experts, with bits of interesting (and sometimes kind of quirky) research we’ve found along the way.

In short, this little corner on the internet is dedicated to helping our readers strengthen their professional presence, enjoy those 25+ years at the office, and fight the good fight on a professional level. To quote my high school vice principal, it’s all “good stuff.”

We hope you enjoy reading our posts as much as we enjoy writing them. As always, send us line if you have any special requests!

Thank you for reading.

Lenka Walldroff

The Art of Making Lemonade

Jul 1, 2015 | JSE Blog |

The JSE Blog


I read a statistic that the average person spends nearly 60% of their working life in the office… that’s a full third of our life! If we’re spending that much time at work, we may as well enjoy it. 

That’s what this little corner of the internet is all about. We publish upbeat and insightful pieces with business tips that run the gamut from business etiquette to creative marketing ideas, personal branding, improving professional presence, and communication tips. 

To quote my high school vice principal, it’s all “good stuff.” We hope that you enjoy reading our posts as much as we enjoy writing them… 

Thank you for stopping in! 
Lenka Walldroff

The Art of Making Lemonade

Jul 1, 2015 | JSE Blog

An old joke: Why did God create economists? Answer: To make weather forecasters look good.

The major news agencies have been abuzz lately with talk of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s hearing with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee last week. The big news was her confirmation of rumors that the Fed is planning on raising interest rates “at some point this year.” Although her speech was sprinkled with what a good friend once termed “wiggle words” (“should”, “possibly”, and “likely”) it can be safely surmised that the cost of borrowing money for the private, government, and commercial sectors is likely to increase- and if rumors are to be believed, it could be as early as September. 

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So what, if anything, does an increased interest rate mean to contractors, archi-tects and engineers? A few things. First we’ll examine the lemons, then we’ll drink some lemonade.

At its most basic- an increase in rates means that borrowing money becomes more expensive- for everyone. The cost of doing business goes up as material prices and the cost of small business loans (and the many things they pay for) also increase. That increased cost is typi-cally passed on to the customer.

Traditionally, higher interest rates have also tightened credit and contributed to a decrease in consumer spending, which eventually results in lowered prices for goods.

But I did promise an upside, and here it is:

Silver lining number 1: a higher interest rate means that any cash reserves that have been sitting idly by waiting for a better economic forecast will be earning higher returns now (interest rates work both ways!)

And silver lining number 2: rumors of interest rate increases are often accompanied by a surge of busi-ness as people hurry to lock in the lower rates for everything from mortgages and car loans to goods and services. That surge can also benefit our industry, and not just for projects with private funding. Federal, state, and grant funding will be affected by interest rate hikes as well.

How’s that? Because of government debt. Currently, the United States Government pays about 200 bil-lion dollars annually in interest on our national debt (through bonds and the like.) A rise in interest rates will increase that payment which will then affect the scope of work on projects already in the pipeline, as well as the amount of money available for grants and spending on future projects. And that doesn’t just apply to the federal government– ditto for state and municipal spending. Those projects that clients have had on the back burner are now more likely to be moved towards the front. Another added benefit? The forecasted rate hike also presents a great opportunity for a bit of creative marketing to current and potential clients.

Lemonade, anyone?

(Above: Federal interest rates from 1952 to present.) 

 

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