Friday, April 5, 2013

How well are you positioned after Q1 to take advantage of 2013-14 growth opportunities?

[Editor's note: In early January, we published Economist Alan Beaulieu's "Top Ten Actions to Take in 2013" which outlined opportunities for growth, value creation, and planning for exit. 

It is now April! Have you taken steps to position your company for success in 2013-14? See Beaulieu's list below. Is it time to accelerate execution or to make adjustments?

Our clients are now executing well on plans developed for 2013. Others are adjusting based on market changes. Many are preparing now for re-invigorated planning exercises in May - August to position for 2014.

If you are concerned that your company is not executing well and firing on all cylinders, contact us. - DPM]

  Top Ten Actions to Take in 2013 

[Editor's note: In January, Economist Alan Beaulieu 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 read these words and said,  "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 read Alan's Top Ten and asked, "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? 

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