PREPARE OR REACT?
Posted By Don Clouser, Chairman of the Board, Friday, February 15, 2019
Recently, President Trump gave the 2019 State of the Union address. In it he shared powerful economic stats for the past two years of his presidency. Some of them include (and I paraphrase):
• 5.3 million new jobs • 600,000 new manufacturing jobs • 5 million Americans off food stamps • The economy is growing twice as fast as 2016 • Unemployment is the lowest it has been in a half century I found that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 9,000 points or 53% from just two years ago.
Have you experienced a change? Are times better for you now than they were? Did you cause that? And if not, what are you doing about it?
We work hard at our daily lives and in our businesses. There are opportunities to quote, materials to buy, schedules to manage, equipment to maintain. When times are good, we hire and invest. And when times are tough, we lay off and cut costs. While this is understandable, the question is how much is done in preparation and how much is done in reaction?
How many times do you find yourself lagging in the business? You get the business before you have enough people or equipment. You lose money before you make adjustments to your costs. You ride the waves of prosperity as well as the crashes between them without knowing which you are riding before it is too late. Many of us have spent time at Aileron, and I am sure you have learned that more companies fail on the upswing than on the downswing. We assume our current situation will last, and we make our plans for that situation only.
I challenge all of us to control our own destinies. While this may sound contradictory, it is easy to work hard. But it is hard to work smart. Are you preparing your business for what is coming? Do you know what is coming? Have you done as much analysis on what the next couple of years look like economically for you as you did to decide if you should buy that new piece of equipment or not? Have you made the effort to do the proper planning for your business? Or have you been surprised each day and react to your current set of circumstances?
Another resource that our DRMA provides us in this regard is the opportunity to hear Brian Beaulieu. Brian is an economist from ITR Economics. DRMA has him in each year to present ITR’s economic forecast for our industry and our area. He helps us “look into the future” so that we are preparing rather than reacting. Many of your colleagues have developed plans based on ITR’s forecasts. I encourage you to come and listen. Bring your team so that you have a balanced understanding, make a balanced business plan, and control your own destiny. Register now and I will see you there on April 11.