Did you accomplish your goals in 2018? What's your plan for 2019?
As we begin a new year, it might be a good time for reflection. Did you accomplish your business and personal goals for 2018? If not, what will you do differently in 2019?
What changes are you planning for 2019?
Is your plan for 2019 just another financial plan? Is your plan merely a rehash of last year's? Are you taking new steps to ensure solid execution?
Do something bold and different. Does your plan for 2019 position your company to take advantage of competitive advantages and opportunities? Does your plan allow you to be successful without depending on a rising economy? (Many believe the next recession may start as early as the 4th quarter.) Do you have the right people and resources in place to execute the plan? Have you broken the plan into actions with specific metrics, dates, and responsible people? Have you subjected your plan to the reality test? Have you thought about both positive and negative scenarios of the future and what steps your company should take in each case? Is there an element of fun and adventure to your plan? Does your plan make your company more valuable at the end of this next year?
If you can't answer YES to each of these questions, perhaps you are planning more of the same in 2019. As the saying goes: What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
Think it's too late to affect 2019 -2020? Don't you expect more from yourself and your company? It's not too late to put a different approach to work that elevates your company and its prospects. It's not too late to act to maximize the next couple of years. Uncertainty makes many of us uncomfortable - but it also brings opportunities to those who can get in front of the market disruptions.
Perhaps 2019 should be the year you start planning to sell? Many knowledgeable people expect that 2019 will continue to be among the best years of any over the next few years for business owners to sell at greatest value. The dynamics of many potential buyers, low inflation, lots of available private equity capital, higher valuations for performing companies - all bode well for sellers over the near future. These dynamics are expected to change for the worse during the next few years as inflation rises, recession looms, and the stock market adjusts causing lower valuations, etc. One veteran of many company sales explains it this way: "If you are planning to possibly sell over the next 5 years, you should be planning to sell in this market - or you may wind up missing the window."
Start preparing now - run your business for value. Whether or not you plan to sell, it always makes sense to run your business to increase value. If your business in recent years has become more of a lifestyle business than a growth/value business, make 2019 the year to change that. Learn what adds value to prospective buyers, and reduce or eliminate the discounters of value. How ready is your business to maximize value?