The End of the Year is the Time to Plan for the Future
Another year draws to a close and we are coming to the end of the year with both optimism and some confusion. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ have been doing a careful dance, unemployment rates continue to be low, the job market is tight, and according to the National Retail Federation, Thanksgiving Weekend multichannel shopping was up almost 40 percent over last year. We are facing a confidence conundrum as to whether or not there is real consumer confidence, or not.
In addition to consumer confidence, investors and entrepreneurs are looking for avenues to engage. This means more commercial buyers or start-ups entering and already rapidly growing franchise space. As a franchise owner, the implications to you are far and wide. Sensitivities in consumer confidence impact your sales. A tight job market makes it harder to find and keep your best talent. Frustrations with your franchisor, or perhaps just wanting to move on to the next something means you might be looking for an out.
As we look forward to 2019 with all the flux taking place, have you reviewed your strategic plan to ensure you are ready for what might come? Specifically, do you have the foundation set for an efficient and productive use of your people, time, and resources, in the face of the unknown? We suggest that if you have not yet developed your strategic plan that you consider making that a priority. Get your mission, vision, and values identified and documented. By doing this you provide insight into the future of your franchise, including future ownership.
Consider what success factors of your business look like. Do you want to grow your current brand, or diversify your portfolio, or maybe you are looking to step back and sell? Take some time to prioritize your business and succession strategies. Specifically, look at your customer focus, market focus, method of sales and distribution, your profit and return, size and growth, human resources and services offered.
An easy way to get started is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I trying to make happen?
- How will I measure success?
- What's the first thing I need to do get started?
- What's the next thing I need to do to achieve success?
- How am I, and my franchise, protected from a potential market shift?
Engaging in this type of planning periodically provides you the opportunity for a "reality check" while things are going well. These reviews and potential updates to your strategic plan are key to achieving your vision and goals, no matter the unknown.
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