Like many of you, I hunkered down for the past three weeks mostly working, plus I fully realized that anything I had to say in a business blog among a well-meaning tsunami of cards, emails and social posts focused on wonderfulness, warm wishes and joyful times would be not important in an important personal time.
For me, these last three weeks did provide a perfect time to focus on work, finish a couple of complex projects that needed yearend completion and prepare for the incoming prep of my Marketing and my Science of Sales courses for this spring.
It was also a superb time for me to privately just think through where I wanted to end up a year from now in December:
- In the business
- At Tufts: 2022 Derby Entrepreneurship Center Report
- In investing
- In personal stuff
Among the long list of things to complete in December, I did have the opportunity to be the kickoff speaker at the annual Advancing Drug Development Forum in Boston. An exciting, day-long conference focused on both large corporations and emerging companies in the biopharma space. Since, as anyone who knows me, understands that I am not a clinical or biotech researcher nor a PhD, my comments were not directed to the dramatic developments being accomplished in every phase of biopharma. What I did talk about is what I see coming in 2023 which I strongly believe applies to all of us no matter what our industry is or the size of our companies.
It's going to be a tough year!
You didn't need me telling you this since you already know about budget cutting for '23, reducing or outright cancelling hiring, and also adjusting your own personal household spending.
- Inflation will be up and down, and there's nothing in the reality of running our businesses that we can do to impact that.
- The same goes for the costs of every type of energy. It's going to be a cold winter in more ways than one, and although I can maybe drive a bit less and turn the heat down, costs are going to escalate.
- I wish I could, but none of us unfortunately can end the war in the Ukraine and its huge impact on life, costs and geopolitics.
As a result, we need to put our hard hats on, buckle up and be prepared for the reality of a tough 2023!
A need to be ambidextrous
- Prudent caution on one hand needs to be one half of our strategic initiatives for this year! For those who lived through 2008-2009, we are never going to allow ourselves to go back to a "shelter-in-place" mentality.
- On the other hand, we need to lead and manage with courage and not just find ourselves on the sidelines watching and waiting. Waiting for what? Wait until "someone" or some entity in the media, tells us "it's ok" or "the recession is over", and we can "return to normal".
- Going forward, there is no new normal! It was a cute phrase in 2020, and it's a tired media hack in 2023. We need to simply focus on how we will manage our businesses prudently while stabilizing top line revenue and net income on one hand and have the courage to prepare for growth in 2024.
a REquirement to have Courage
2023 belongs to all of us who have the courage to lead in tough times and consistently position ourselves for growth in 2024.
- We cannot just sit on the sidelines and wait! Not for our businesses, and not for our responsibilities to our employees! If one chooses to do that because it's a tough year, then the first six months of 2024, by definition will be slower than it could be.
- We need to selectively and cautiously invest time and money in '23 for '24!
Perhaps that's in product, technology, sales and marketing productivity or manufacturing efficiencies. That's the purpose of our January business planning processes: to make strategic decisions on tactical investments in people and limited expense in preparation for what will be accelerated growth in 2024.
2023 Business Planning
One of the tasks I did complete during the break is to update a new edition of our Writing the Winning Business Plan for 2023.
You can click here for a free copy, and, of course, connect with me at any time for questions, comments or just catching up.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND & CONNECT ANYTIME!
Connect with me at any time for some quick ideas and feedback. There's never a cost for a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about Sales & Marketing.
Enjoy the weekend! I'm out snowboarding tomorrow AM- first time on the hill this season. Snowing all morning today here in VT