Are you ready for 2013?

No, that’s not a typo. Yes, we’re talking about 2013. The economists at the Institute for Trend Research say we’re going to have a great year in 2012, but should see the economy lag again in late 2013. I think our heightened awareness about what a recession can really do have made us sit up and listen when economists speak. And after we listen, we need to act.

But how do we act?

The ITR economists encourage what they term as “make your move” items, which are those things a business needs to act on in order to stay competitive in a changing environment. As a result of an improving economy, the “make your move” items that a business owner should focus on are capacity constraints such as understaffing or inadequate training. Any constraints that a company is facing at the current level of business will be compounded moving forward as demand for products and/or services increases. Failure to address problems could result in delays to customers and the risk of losing market share to competitors.

Other factors business owners should concentrate on include:
• positive leadership modeling
• hiring top people
• investing in customer market research
• judiciously expanding credit to your customers
• reviewing and uncovering competitive advantages

As we pass through 2013, economists also warn that producer price pressures due to inflation and increased demand could cause production costs to go up through the year – though those costs can eventually be passed on to customers. They remind us, however, to be mindful of setting price points too high going into 2014.

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