2017 Business Predictions

December 2, 2016

2017 will continue to be a roller coaster concerning business conditions based on calls we’re receiving from business owners. The common phrases we hear are: “I am swamped with work and don’t have enough help to get the jobs out” and “We have nothing in the pipeline and I may have to lay people off.” 

New, profitable customers are difficult to come by so you want to make sure that you meet or exceed their expectations. Unfortunately this is the new norm and owners/managers must adapt to it. 

Compounding the problem is that skilled workers are so difficult to come hire/retain. If a good worker feels they may soon be unemployed, they often start looking for a new opportunity before that happens. 

To keep this from happening, companies will be faced with having to work even harder than in the past to dig out new leads for business. This may include attending trade shows and following up and quoting more than ever. 

As much as most preliminary research is done on line, there is still no substitute for getting on the road and calling on prospects. 

One a positive note, lumber prices are projected to remain fairly stable or they might slightly decrease in 2017 as more kiln dried material enters the marketplace. This projection is dependent on the current volume of lumber being shipped to Asia remains consistent. This should help companies that are quoting jobs that will not be awarded immediately.

This information is important because manufacturers need to be aware of the importance of increasing their marketing and sales efforts BEFORE they have nothing in the pipeline and have to scramble.

By spending time in the field, companies are able to gather information on what their competitors are offering and learning what solutions they may provide their present customers. The time for companies to be proactive is when they are busy, not when they wish they were.

The WPMA has been working with companies since 1929 to help them remain both profitable and competitive. For more information readers should contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978-874-5445.

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