As 2014 approaches, I thought I’d share the following “forecast” about what the upcoming year could hold.
Dear Small and Mid-Market Executive –
The past few years have held their own share of challenges for companies of all sizes, but for you in the small and mid-market space they’ve been particularly stressful. Many of you have grappled with:
- Spending reductions and expense cutting – and having to watch your numbers more closely than ever before,
- Re-examining your business models to determine where to re-gain margins and profitability,
- Launching new offerings and services to supplement revenue streams when the old ones dried up,
- Being more deliberate with your hiring practices to ensure that you find the right talent, and
- Increasing your marketing and sales activities yet sometimes only generating the same amount of revenue for more effort.
As we travel into the “annual planning season”, knowing the upcoming year’s forecast should definitely be top of mind. After all, what’s coming from an “atmospheric” standpoint is an essential component of a robust planning process.
So you may want to consider the recent advice of the Institute for Trends Research (ITR), which prides itself on 94.7% accuracy over 60 years of economic forecasting.
The good news? No signs of an impending collapse in 2014. However, ITR is predicting that the economy will soften, so you still need to prepare.
“Use the coming year to:
- Strengthen your sales team and procedures for better days ahead in 2015 [yes, you’re not reading that wrong – ITR is predicting good things in ‘15].
- Hire key people to generate new business and streamline your operations.
- Upgrade your CRM or ERP to keep up with the coming pressures.
- Improve your internet and mobile presence.
- Train your employees to enhance their technological prowess.
All of the above takes money [so act now]!”
The return is worth it!
Not a bad future (certainly one that’s manageable) but regardless of the forecast, great success requires dedicating time to plan, fierce commitment to the planning process as well as spot on execution.
So, if you haven’t set aside time to develop your own “weather” plan, take advantage of the upcoming One Day Rockefeller Habits annual planning workshop on Tuesday, November 5th designed to get you jump-started.
Here’s the link to register: http://bit.ly/1bOZNWq
Enjoy the challenging but great ride ahead!
The Business Performance Forecaster
FOOTNOTE: The Institute for Trends Research is my favorite prognosticator on all things economic and a highly respected economic research group. They’re not just considered one of the foremost authorities on predicting economic trends, but they’ve also developed tools to help companies manage those trends proactively.
And as I learned when we had them come to Philly a few years ago, they’re also great speakers – highly informative and entertaining. (For more on their speaking engagements, check out this link: http://itreconomics.com/itrmap and to sign up for their newsletter go here: http://itreconomics.com/subscription-services.)
Check them out!