Looking to 2015: Optimistic, But Time to Upgrade Your Strategy
by Martin Zwilling, Founder & CEO, Startup Professionals
Even though it has been a long haul since the recession, its nice to see more optimism as we close out this year and head into a new one. A November 2014 report by Kiplinger asserts that economic momentum is back on track. Growth is projected to continue at a 3 percent rate, consumer confidence is gaining strongly, hiring is on the rise, and job openings are at a near record level.
According to earlier studies from Forbes Insights, many entrepreneurs and small businesses not only feel the lessons learned during the past few years have helped them survive, but the recession also exposed flaws in their business strategies that they were able to fix. Here are some recommended strategic planning initiatives, culled from multiple studies, that you can apply to your small business planning in the New Year:
If small businesses tackle these initiatives, we will be supporting economists forecast and moving the U.S. economy toward a self-sustaining and continuing economic expansion. A healthy manufacturing sector, likely to gain even more strength in 2015, is creating an impetus to invest. Recent drops in gas prices are now extending to diesel and even home heating oil.
The National Federation of Independent Businesss Small Business Optimism Index is now up to 96.1, and is working its way back to pre-recession levels. This was led by a modest increase in the net percent of owners who plan to increase capital spending and more who expect higher sales in the next few months. But overall, small business owners are still looking for more clear direction to drive their optimism.
My take on all this is that entrepreneurs are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, and the light is no longer a freight train heading straight at them. We always learn more when times are tough, and we should come away with more strength and determination, as well as real results. Its time to soak up the optimism, do some real financial planning, and push the limits on all business fronts.
Martin Zwilling is the founder and chief executive officer of Startup Professionals, a company that provides products and services to start-up founders and small business owners. Check out his daily blog or email him.