For most of the performance professionals I’ve talked to recently, getting through this year has taken a lot of effort. Satisfying wary buyers with tight budgets has meant paying attention to the smallest of details, going the extra mile at every turn, making the tough decisions and working harder than ever.
While that approach has been necessary for many companies’ very survival, it can come at the expense of long-term planning. Scrambling just to make ends meet doesn’t always leave a lot of time for looking at the big picture.
If your business has survived this year, congratulations-you have a lot to be proud of and a story to tell for years to come. You know you must be doing something right if you’ve managed to stay afloat when discretionary spending has slowed to a trickle.
And with that accomplishment, heading into the new year is a great time to take a step back and consider where your company is headed-not just into the spring, but in a year, in two years, in five years and more.
In each issue of Performance Business, we hope that somewhere in the magazine you find at least one small thing that helps you be more successful-whether it’s a new product announcement, a snippet of business advice or simply a photo that sparks creative thinking on your next project.
Our December issue includes some ideas, and some examples, of long-term thinking.
Start with The Professor Files (page 56), where Dick Dixon discusses taking the long-view of your supply chain to maximize efficiency. Meanwhile, industry suppliers outline ways to ensure success in the hot rod engine building and dirt track markets (pages 12, 20).
Brion Coyne has some suggestions for increasing your company’s visibility in your own showroom (page 26), and Cody Johnson maps out the path he’s taken to build Illtech Auto Salon into one of the Northwest’s premier performance shops (page 50).
Finally, there’s a look at a couple of institutions that have proven their staying power-40-year-old Ohio Technical College in Cleveland (page 68), and 94-year-old Egge Machine Co. (page 62).
No one can say for certain if we’ve yet to see the worst of this economic downturn. But sooner or later the skies will be bluer, and when that day comes, the companies that have positioned themselves for sustained success will have the advantage.
Here’s hoping that 2010 is the beginning of a long string of victories for your business and the entire performance industry.