2012 at a glance

By Ray Pinard | February 22, 2012

The situation:

  • 2012 will be an uneventful year for business in general, much like 2011.
  • Being an election year, nothing of value will happen in Washington unless absolutely necessary. The current stop gap method of operation will continue and issues will flare up, play out in the media, and be solved to meet political satisfactions at the 11th hour.
  • The Supreme Court will rule on various portions of Obama Health Care around June. This will either provide clarity or increase the confusion as to the impact on businesses.
  • Unemployment is not expected to drop below 8%. Current drops in the unemployment rate are highly attributable to people dropping out of the workforce or unemployment benefits expiring. When you factor in these folks the unemployment rate is over 11%. When you factor in marginally attached workers, it is over 15%.
  • Credit is available.
  • The Fed is doing all they can to hold interest rates down as a stimulus for borrowing by both individuals and businesses.
  • Even with credit available and low rates, the most qualified will get the funding. Banks are not expected to relax lending standards in the near term.
  • If you do qualify for a loan, you should be able to negotiate a great rate and favorable terms. Shop your loan to several institutions.
  • The best of the best economists are forecasting GDP growth for 2012 of 2-2.5%, with a core inflation rate to match. GDP forecast for 2013 is currently 1.7%.
  • Housing prices will bottom out or turn around in most areas of the country.
  • Banks are holding on to a large pool of repossessed housing. When banks decide to aggressively move this inventory prices will be held down.
  • Because so many people are underwater on their mortgage in areas where house prices declined significantly, employment mobility is being held back. Existing labor is not flowing to where the needs are.

 What can you do:

  • This is a year where “you have to make your own luck.”
  • Luck is “being in a position to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself.”
  • How well is your company positioned to take advantage of opportunities that are or will present themselves to you?
  • Do you have a 12-18 month plan for your business, with financial modeling?
  • Does the plan indicate that you will be building your cash balance in a meaningful fashion?
  • Are you burdened by issues that have been hanging around for months with no resolution in sight?
  • How much time are you spending on the strategic aspects of your business? Over 75%?
  • How different are your market differentiators from your chief competitors?
  • Which differentiators can you improve and accentuate towards gaining market share/revenue?
  • How can you improve productivity in your workforce? If you don’t know, you’re not pushing the envelope.

 If you would like to be able to:

  • answer these and other important questions,
  • position your business for growth,
  • take advantage of opportunities that you have identified or present themselves,

please contact Ray Pinard at 603-620-7500 or raypinard@monticellostrategies.com.

I would be pleased to discuss how you can gain control of your future and meet or exceed your expectations.

 Make more money, work less, be happy!

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