A Changing World

There is nothing so consistent as change.  In business you have to watch those changes with an eye to how it affects your business.  Oh yes – these changes do in one way or another affect your business.  A brutal act by Russia ripples through the policies of the United States and Europe.  Fuel prices can be affected which means if you ship or receive there will be a price change.

No, you do not have to be in international trade for international events to impact your business.  Perhaps more importantly, what is going on in the world should have a prominent place in your planning.  Something happens on the west coast of the U.S. that ties up shipping to those ports in the month of July. That could affect the delivery of product from Asia for Christmas.  Unrest in Brazil and/or Argentina reflects in anything from tourism to product import and export.

With congress so completely deadlocked as to be useless, it is difficult to determine anything from immigration to fiscal reform.  Therefore, interest rates, regulations and other factors become muddy because of a lack of clarity. While business in the U.S. overall is better, many corporations are holding back, sitting on mountains of cash (mostly stashed overseas) not wanting to bet big on hiring or expansion just yet.

This can work in your favor – stepping in to take advantage of someone else’s hesitation can pay off. Well, life itself is a gamble. Before you leave the house in the morning, you check the weather, the traffic and glance at your odometer before you go out into the world.  You are trying to anticipate how any of these things will affect your plans.

Do the same thing with planning. If this happens, this is what will work – if this does not happen, then this is what will work.  It is no picnic trying to figure what the best path forward will be. But, that is part of the responsibility of leaders.  So, you make a few mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. But it is better to act than react.

Study the possibilities, get ready for the changes.  They will come as surely as tomorrow will follow today.

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