May 2nd, 2019
Let the Good Times Roll, But …
The economy continues to fire on all cylinders and the forecast of a recession seems to have been pushed off to another time—a time far, far away from now. This is obviously great news, but when we look back to 10 years ago, none of these “know it all’s” were forecasting a downturn then, either. I am reminded that all of these “forecasters” are also selling their services to all of us, so we need to take what they are saying for what it is.
This said, we are off to another great start, and we need to be looking at new and different ways to make our businesses even better. Now is a great time to experiment with new things, like new means for advertising. Is canvassing a viable medium? What about good, old-fashioned direct mail? There are many different avenues to try, but it is also important to track the returns on investment for those methods in order to determine whether or not they’re viable.
Just because business is booming, it does not mean it’s time to open up the checkbook and spend freely. You have your businesses running lean and mean; expansion is good, and hiring key personnel is great. However, you know what has made you successful. And more than likely it is managing your costs and spending wisely.
We also understand what goes up, must come down. This is to say: it does not hurt to do some contingency planning. When business does slow down, what easy changes will you be able to make without hindering the company’s sales and profits? If the economy really gets sidetracked, what tough decisions will you need to look at? These things are never fun to plan for or think about, but it is better to consider them now, versus when you have no choice but to.
Finally, it is great to ride the wave of the good economic times. We all do it, and we all can take advantage of some fantastic things in the process. Whether it’s re-inventing your business, adding new products, or possibly doing some expansion—this is the time to do those sorts of things. And, as you have grown your business successfully, you have developed many key disciplines, like managing your costs and contingency planning. It’s easy to forget about this or to push it off, but maintaining your disciplines will keep your company successful even during the down times. Down times that, hopefully, are indeed “far, far away.”