As we round third and head for home this year (baseball metaphors are completely appropriate in late September), it's time to start thinking of what you need to do to either continue the positive momentum your company has enjoyed this year or find that magic formula that will turn things around.
We talk to scores of companies every year and the first question I always ask is "How's business?" It inevitably leads to further discussions about the economy, the difficulty of finding qualified skilled workers for their plant, the effect of the election, the market fluctuations and much more. It's no different than if you went to a psychologist and he or she asked you "How are you doing?" It's a door opener to get you to start a dialogue. Granted, my little interviews are not a national poll, but when you hear virtually the same answers time after time, you start to believe there is a trend here.
People are nervous right now. Certainly the contentious election year has contributed to that, but so has terrorism (both home grown and foreign), hacking of huge networks (Yahoo just yesterday being the latest example), whether the Fed will or will not raise interest rates, and so on.
Running a company is not easy. Nobody ever said it would be. There are a myriad of factors that can determine whether you will have a good year. For companies who manufacture capital equipment, one large order can make the difference. For others, they have to "ring the cash register" every day to make it happen.
Take some time to think about the top three things that would give your company a better year next year than this year and then start to take the steps to make that a reality.
From our unscientific research, finding qualified employees to help facilitate growth is a biggie. How do you find those employees and once found, keep them? That discussion is for another day but for now, start the process. You can't reach your destination without a map.