2013 will not be a year of recession, according to the Institute for Trend Research's Senior Economist Andrew Duguay. Growth, though, will be slow, and in the recent MDM Webcast 2013 Economic Outlook, Duguay forecasts a moderate (2.9 percent) contraction for 2014.
To help distributors navigate the ups and downs of the next two years, Duguay offers five management tips:
Stay positive. “It’s very important to walk into the office with a smile on your face, because everybody is reading the Wall Street Journal, everybody’s concerned about the fiscal cliff," he says. Many aren't aware of the positive indicators that are out there. (The fiscal cliff was avoided: Here’s what the deal means for business.)
Don't put on the brakes just yet. Duguay says "it's too soon" to make decisions based on a recession that is unlikely to happen for another year, so managers should resist the inclination.
Avoid excessive hiring. Avoid creating new positions in 2013 that may be unsustainable come 2014 by cross-training key staff and utilizing more efficient technology.
Emphasize your competitive advantages. Internally review and externally communicate your product, customer service and accessibility advantages to customers now to avoid competing on price once the next recession begins.
- Avoid long-term purchase commitments in late 2013. As the new year concludes, distributors should avoid long-term buying commitments late in the price cycle in anticipation of likely price decreases in 2014.
Duguay details which sectors performed best in 2012 and offers projections for 2013-2017 in the recent MDM Webcast, the 2013 Economic Outlook. Read the webcast summary in the December 25 issue of MDM Premium or order a copy on DVD.