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Give advice

Demand for guidance becomes more relevant in tough times
By Rafael Santos |

With hard times looming ahead, people are trying to squeeze the most out of their hard earned money. But while the demand for a lot of things may dwindle considerably over the next few months or years, the demand of business owners for good business advice should remain pretty stable, if not stronger.


Oliver Juanir of the consulting firm Business Planners says that this is because during bad times, business owners will have a greater need for qualified and experienced financial consultants to help them cut costs and still maintain their competitive footing.


Juanir explains: “There are many registered financial and business consultants in the country who can come in to analyze your business and identify areas for improvement. The money you pay for their advice would be a long-term investment for your company.”


He says that it is normal for businesses to encounter problems. “You just have to work at those problems, solve them, and get over them,” he says. “The important thing is not to give up. You must overcome obstacles to succeed.”



As some big companies fail during the economic crisis, Juanir points out, new markets may even open up for smaller, more nimble businesses. “You will see smaller companies picking up more customers and navigating their business much better during difficult times because they have no massive overhead costs,” he says.


At present, what is creating a strong demand for environmental consultants is the need of companies to consume less energy and save on fuel. This is because achieving higher energy efficiency often will not only make a company reduce costs but also qualify it for generous government incentives.


Says Antonio S. Tria, president of Environmental Counselors Inc.: “For businesses to gain international certification, for instance, their manufacturing facilities must be made environmentally compliant In particular, they must make sure that their factories are in compliance with the emission standards laid down by the Kyoto Protocol. This is where environmental consultants can be of great help to the company.”



Ratified in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol legally binds 141 countries, including the Philippines, to reduce the global discharge of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and sets targets and timetables for developed countries to reduce their collective GHG emissions by five percent of their 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012. GHGs come primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels in energy use, as well as industrial emissions from factories and motor vehicles. Tria says that as the government enacts more stringent laws to govern manufacturing facilities, companies will become even more obligated to engage in environmentfriendly processes.


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