WHAT A YEAR! 2017 has been incredible in many ways and not all good, can you relate? Just a few thoughts for you as we close out this year; do with them what you will.
- Our industry is changing in a lot of ways so complaining about it or ignoring it because you don’t want it to happen won’t help you; only good strategy will keep you in the game. Stay focused on what your good at, but don’t be afraid to try some new things. If you fail, do it fast and as cheaply as you can.
- If you’re a brick and mortar retailer out there, this is my hope for you in 2018. Create a consumer experience that is something they will talk about when they leave your store. I realize that this is a huge hurdle to jump over but if you don’t have that, then you will end up a victim of the internet. Businesses do it all the time and it doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. In addition, if you are selling the same stuff everyone else has look at some proven “craft beers” out there like Spink and Edgar that bring big tickets and fat margins. Set yourself apart this year and create your own competitive advantage. It works.
- Do business with the people that you trust the most. I have heard many stories this year about big corporate types making moves to benefit themselves, regardless of the impact on their customers. Life is too short for that crap if you ask me and there are WAY TOO MANY solutions in this industry to stand for that type of treatment so pick partners who actually SHOW you how important you are to them. (But get it together before you make any big changes, planning is the key!)
I say it every year but take some time in the next few days to review 2017 in your mind. What did you do right and how did you screw up? Be grateful for the bad things that happened because if you’re paying attention, chances are, they happened to show you something about someone or something so don’t miss out on that learning.
Looking forward, BE THE BOSS. Have faith in yourself and in your people and go after it in 2018. Have big expectations, solid strategy, and get the right team in place, then go out and kick some serious butt.
Finally…my parents lost their home this year in Houston due to the flood and just yesterday, I had a call with a very close friend that told me his wife was dealing with news of a tumor. Benign thank God. Bottom line is that no matter what you faced in 2017 or are staring down in 2018, stay focused on what matters most.
From my family to your family, have a blessed NEW YEAR!