The end of year brings about a sense of closure — and the inevitable question of whether 2016 was as good as you had hoped it would be.
To answer that question, let’s start with the facts. First, you’re still in business, which is no small feat. According to the Small Business Administration, about half of small businesses with employees don’t make it past the 5-year mark and 1/3 don’t last beyond 2 years. And, you’re making an impact on the local and national economy. Small businesses account for 55% of all jobs and 66% of all new net jobs since the 1970s.
Next, you told us last year and again this year — your revenue forecasts are good, especially compared with your counterparts in production ag. For instance, according to our 2017 Dealer Business Trends & Outlook survey, nearly half of you expect your revenues to increase 2-8% or more in the coming year. And, more than half of you expect your aftermarket revenues to increase 2-8% or more. (A comprehensive analysis of the report will be featured in our winter 2017 issue, arriving in mailboxes in January.)
There’s still the nagging question of whether you achieved as much as you could. To answer that question this year, turn it on its end. Try making “anti-to-do lists” each day instead of the often unattainable “to do list.”
Here’s an explanation from an expert in a recent Fast Company article: “It forces you to reflect and think of all of those things — big and small — that you did manage to accomplish. Whether it was something that I had set out to get done or a fire that cropped up and needed to be put out, I could wrap up my workday feeling like I had made great use of my time — rather than constantly feeling like I came up short.”
And, considering you’re often back at the dealership within 12 hours of leaving it, you have many more chances if you do feel like your day came up a little short of accomplishments.
We took the “anti” approach in our latest Industry Q&A when we asked dealers, “What are you NOT doing in 2017?” Choosing to not do something may take more willpower and can be as powerful as implementing something new. It also incorporates lessons you’ve learned, so you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes and hoping for better results.
“I think the one thing that we will NOT do in 2017 is continue in the same conservative, survival mindset that has essentially framed our decision-making for the last 8 years. 2017 is the year to breakout and be daring,” Zerkle says.
We hope 2017 is also a breakout year for you personally and for your dealership. We’ll do our part by providing the information and strategies you need, so you can create stellar “done” lists in the year ahead.
Happy New Year from all of us at Rural Lifestyle Dealer.