October 1, 2022
CLAREMONT, CA—Smart companies are keeping an eye on the impending economic downturn but not prepared to bring everything to a grinding halt, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC). Opportunities exist—in providing better customer value, retaining talent, and using technology smartly—but only for companies that have the right momentum.
The Four Big Opportunities You Can Take Now
“Aside from tax planning, our most successful clients are not thinking about year-end,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and manufacturing expert known as the Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain.™ “Instead, they’re focusing on the opportunities ahead.”
“The big concern now is a potential downturn in demand, driven by continuing supply chain disruptions and surging inflation,” she explains. “But opportunities exist too. As more owner-operators retire, companies are purchased, supply chains move, and economic volatility provides challenges for the competition.”
“Those who understand their customers’ world are best placed to take advantage of these opportunities. That means determining their ideal customers, the value proposition in the marketplace, and investing in talent and technology. Together, this delivers a superior customer experience to those ideal customers,” adds Anderson.
Why Not to Let Your Talent Walk Out the Door
“What things are you doing in 2022 to ensure your talent sticks around in 2023?” asks Diane L. Garcia of Lorraine Consulting, LLC, who has over 15 years’ experience in operations and supply chain management and is an expert in helping clients improve their unique business processes. Diane applies cutting-edge supply chain optimization knowledge and implements best practices with manufacturing and distribution companies in North America.
“My manufacturing clients across every industry are experiencing some degree of talent constraints,” notes Garcia. “The best way to obtain talent is to retain what you have within your organization. Alongside supporting year-end financial and customer service goals, I recommend you make your teams feel valued. Hint: People enjoy time off during the holidays.”
Best to Make Tweaks in the Final Weeks
“Preparing for year-end should have taken place earlier in the year,” according to Kathleen McEntee is President of Kathleen McEntee and Associates Ltd, a full-service marketing firm focused on distinguishing businesses with practical marketing strategies and tactics that deliver results. “Goals established. Game plans developed. Team determined. ROI identified. Measurements in place so that tweaks could be made along the way. Now is the time to make any last-minute tweaks to encourage customers to engage, so as not to get caught short—this is the time to update messaging and plan additional communications.”
“It’s also the time to begin the planning process for 2023,” advises McEntee. “Nobody has a crystal ball, but planning for the expected and the unexpected will put companies ahead of their competition.”
Time to Invest, Not to Panic
Successful companies use economic disruptions and market volatility as an opportunity to invest in customers and marketing, according to Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic firm marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters, and year end is a perfect time to demonstrate support.
“This is the time when customers need to know they are valued, their needs will be met, and they can count on their partners and suppliers to come through as needed,” she notes.
“This means taking the time to help customers prepare for the activities they need to be successful in the new year, and to ensure they aren’t derailed by the latest news,” Popky adds. “Markets go up and down. Inflation causes price hikes. Customers will continue to support those companies who provide them consistent ongoing value—regardless of external events.”
Get this Mindset into Your Managers for 2023
“Stop preparing for year-end,” said SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Despite the financial requirements of a fiscal year that coincides with the calendar year, there is nothing magical about year-end. In fact, the attitude might better be “year beginning.” Too many companies come to a screeching halt and then have to restart their engines from a standing stop in the new year. Full speed ahead.”
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 14 countries around the world.