[Editor's note: Happy New Year! Economist Alan Beaulieu recently presented his forecast for 2013 and beyond. As someone trained as an economist, I recognize that most economists aren't very skilled at "forward looking." However, we have been following Alan Beaulieu and ITR Economics for over two decades and it has a strong record for accuracy.
Beaulieu's group predicts a strong 2013, a dip in 2014, followed by strong 2015-16. After 2016, they are bearish, predicting a protracted recession in 2017-2020. The message is clear - the time to invest in your business is now - the time to ultimately exit is over the next 3 years.
Beaulieu shared his top areas of focus for 2013 for businesses to take best advantage of the current stage of the business cycle. He was emphatic that those who continue to "hunker down" will likely be left behind. We offer the top ten below. We hope you find these helpful. -DPM]
1. Invest in adding top sales staff (to get at least your fair share of increased demand)
2. Invest in training your employees
3. Lock in costs now (longer-term contracts and agreements)
4. Invest in true customer and market research (know what customers and the market values)
5. Judiciously expand credit (borrow while rates are low)
6. Check distribution systems for readiness to accommodate additional volume and activity
7. Review, uncover, and exploit competitive advantages
8. Improve efficiencies with investment in technology and software
9. Spend on new products, marketing, and advertising
10. Work on "what's next"
Some business owners will read these words and say, "Sure,. I've heard all that before. We're doing that." Those CEOs and business owners are dooming their companies to more of the same. The best CEOs will read Alan's Top Ten and ask, "Are we really best positioned to execute? What do we need to do differently to succeed?"
Contact us if you would like to discuss what the best performing companies are doing?