Welcome to Small Business Advice with naturalForms, a series hosted by our team member Brian. Brian has decades of knowledge and experience as an executive and consultant for businesses of all sizes. We’ve taken the time to pick his brain and get as much as we can, to pass his advice on to you.
Take it away Brian!
What’s that old saying? You gotta make hay while the sun is shining? Well that is exactly what your goal should be right now! There’s no doubt about it, the economy is doing good. How good? Record profits and there are officially over a million more jobs available than there are people looking for jobs according to the United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. That should tell you enough about how you should position yourself and your business: IN GROWING MODE.
Get Going and Get Growing!
Recently, I personally requested to receive quotations on several projects ranging from new landscaping to building a covered dock with a boatlift. These projects were in different markets with different pools of suppliers. When the quotations were received, there was consistency across the board in two critical areas – the prices quoted were about 30% higher than normal and the lead times were two times longer than normal.
As I discuss this topic with other consumers and with small business owners, this is consistent across industries and geographies. Businesses have more work than they can handle. Their biggest issue is around finding the labor, specifically the quality of labor, to perform the work.
A Storm is a Coming
It’s a given that this economic condition won’t last forever and each economic cycle lasts for a period of time. What should you do about it now? Right now, it is critical for businesses to ‘make hay while the sun is shining.’ In other words, it is important for businesses to ensure they are building the strongest businesses they can. This means investing in brand, people, processes, and putting cash in the bank. If you’ve got the money to get growing, then you need to get to it NOW!
Actually, it would’ve been better to have done it a while ago, but that doesn’t matter. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the if you haven't done it, the
next best time is right now. So, if you want to plant yourself a money tree, you’d better start digging that hole and go get some good soil.
Ways to invest in your business
There are so many ways to invest in your business, that we should probably make a full article on it. (Hint, hint.) But until then, here are a few ways so you can get your gears turning.
Build a Plan - When is the last time you built a strategic plan?
Fix Current Issues – Have an inefficient process? Fix them now while things are going well.
Marketing – You’re open for business right? Well let the people know! Invest in marketing your business online and figure out that social media thing while you’re at it!
Expand Your Reach – Build out your empire and consider opening additional geographies. There’s always room for growth, and now might be the best time.
Expand Your Team – We just mentioned how there’s a potential shortage of labor. Is there a particular problem that your current team can’t fix? Consider opening a position to get things rolling into high gear!
Save!! – 2008 proved that the good times won’t last forever. So, make sure that you put yourself in a position to be fine, when things get tough later.
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naturalForms — Smart Forms for Smart Business
naturalForms is an innovative software company based in Dayton, Ohio USA and is the leader in natural input technologies and provides an end-to-end mobile data capture platform that automates the collection of natural input (such as handwriting, photos, notes, drawings, and signatures) instantly at the point of entry. Information captured with tablets or other mobile devices is immediately converted to digital data and seamlessly integrated to backend systems. Straight-through processing eliminates cycle time delays and human data entry errors, creating an unsurpassed workflow optimization and significant cost savings. naturalForms’ solutions are used around the world, delivering value in multiple industries. To learn more, visit http://www.naturalforms.com.