2018 – Boom or Bust?
Are you ready for 2018? As you prepare for this year, how was 2017 for you? Did you meet or exceed your business objectives? Did you miss key objectives or opportunities? Many of us experienced high-growth in 2017, which required increasing payroll, adding office space, upgrading/replacing equipment, etc.
So how do you view 2018? The U.S. economy expanded at a robust 2.5% in 2017, and is predicted to do roughly the same in 2018, but none of us have a crystal ball that will tell us if this will happen, and if so, how it will affect our individual businesses.
How do we know what to do to prepare? I have observed customers over the years and noticed that some seem to excel no matter what is going on with the economy. They share common traits that help them succeed when others don’t.
- Vision – the best companies have a vision of where they want to be, what they are going to do to get there, and how to measure it. You can’t hit a goal you can’t see.
- Financially wise – companies that stick around tend to be ‘wise’ with their money. This doesn’t mean they are cheap, but they do tend to spend money conservatively. The wise ones strategically invest money in getting the right people, the right products, the right services, the right equipment, etc. – without over-paying.
- Externalize – great business people don’t operate in a vacuum, or keep everything inside. They learn to share problems, challenges and opportunities with peers and seek advice. They are involved in networking groups of peers or have boards/partners to consult. They take what they learn and apply it to their business.
- Technology – investing wisely in the right technology can help them reduce costs, be more efficient, reduce labor costs, improve customer service, and create unique competitive advantages.
- Competition – wise business owners know their competition and how to compete against them. This has become challenging over the last 20 years as we no longer compete against businesses in our own areas, but nationally, and in some cases, globally. Most of us now face steep competition from businesses who sell the products/services we do via the web and with other forms of digital marketing. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors and help others find out about you?