Some important changes will take a while to fully implement. If you want to make changes in your operation, like ordering new inventory, hiring and training new employees, or putting a new marketing campaign together, it will take time to really get them rolling. “You might think, Oh, as long as we get this or that going by fall, we’ll be good to go for the rest of the year,” says McBean. “But why wait until fall? You probably have a little extra time right now to make things happen. So take advantage of it!”
You can take action while your competitors are procrastinating. Most owners and their managers say, “Thank God we got through the winter months, and we are now in the meat of the market! Things should get better now…at least, I hope!” Then, they kick back and wait to see what happens during the next few months. But not you.
“The important thing to understand is that while your competitors are taking this approach, you have a market advantage and an opportunity for conquest sales and more profit,” notes McBean. “But only if your changes are smart and you begin the preparation now. Set a goal to take action on at least one or two important goals. Do it while your competitors are sitting on their hands, and there will be conquest sales and a bigger payoff for you and your business.”
Now you know what you didn’t know in December/January. Hopefully you did an end-of-the-year or beginning-of-the-year review back in December or January. That review probably raised some important questions. For example: What will the hottest products be this year? Will my biggest competitor’s expansion gamble pay off? What’s my biggest threat? And so on. “Now, almost halfway into the year, you should have answers to some of those important questions,” says McBean. “Most importantly, now that you know what you didn’t know, you can look at what it means for your business and make decisions accordingly.”