To plan for the future you can't spend all your time looking back.
Did you hang onto your 2008 calendar? Probably not. Are you still hanging onto your 2008 business model and expectations? Maybe so!
Herb Meldahl, a consultant to the woodworking industry, says, "A surprisingly large number of the company owners I talk to tell me that they are 'trying to hang on' until business gets back to 'normal.' When I ask what "normal" is the universal answer is, 'You know, when business was good, like in 2008!'"
"If your one of these business owners, it's time for a reality check. 2008 is not coming back!
"If you are waiting for the country to just get past the current foreclosure spike and get people back to their old jobs, you will be waiting forever. At a recent seminar I attended on Global Markets, economist Dr. Chris Kuehl pointed out a number of significant circumstances that have made this recession different than any previous recession.
"First of all he related that companies have been going lean for some time now and that has cut jobs form the work force that will never come back. Internal logistics: moving raw materials, parts and components, required a lot of people. More efficient plant layouts, processes and automation have eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs that will never come back.
"We are part of a global economy and market place. Note the affects of the earthquake and tsunami on Japan and how it has affected the automotive and electronics industries' supply of parts and components. Not just automakers like Toyota, but Ford and Chrysler as well. The shortage of chips for tablets and smart phones put a limit on the availability of those products. When was the last time you used American made hardware on your cabinets and furniture?
"Companies are holding onto their money, not investing in bricks and mortar or hiring fulltime people when they can hire temps. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act passed since the banking crises makes it difficult for banks to loan money which hampers investment and construction.
--If you haven't taken a close look at your primary market, customers, trends and current key players then you need to do that today.
--If you haven't adjusted, or restructured your business model to be able to take advantage of the new business and buying trends it will be hard for you to compete.
--If you haven't made use of professional electronic networking like LinkedIn and its many targeted business groups, you're lacking tools your competitors may already be using.
--If you haven't started utilizing social media, you're missing opportunities to build electronic relationships with current and potential customers and, you're missing sales.
Meldahl Consulting Services can be reached by emailing Herb at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 815-332-8010.
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