by DR. CHRIS ARDUESER
Where is my money? Inflation is at an all-time high, gas prices are skyrocketing, stocks are dropping,
interest rates are up, and my dollar is not going as far as it used to. So what happened, and how am I
going to get through this?
These are all questions that many businesses and families are asking themselves right now. Despite just
going through a multi-year pandemic, the economy was doing pretty well. Some particulars can be
argued, but in a general sense, things were good, and then this, today we are seeing a different
economy leaving many wondering what to do. An appropriate initial response is to control spending and
budget to ensure that you do not let yourself create debt that could have been avoided. Then is the big
one, the step that will help ensure you remain sustainable and come out of this economic slump in good
standing. That is to make a strategic plan for the next few years. If you own, manage or direct a
business, this is a must and something you can also do for your personal life. This will be a very tough
future for some companies; some will prosper, and others will remain constant through these times.
Each business has its own external factors that affect its internal operations, which will determine your
industry’s future outlook. It is important to remember that the external factors will ever be evolving,
creating new causes and effects on your business, so you have to keep up with what is happening that
relates to your business. For some companies, this might be the first time you start to examine all the
pieces that go into what it is you do and how they affect your outcomes. By reviewing them, you will not
only be able to adapt to the now but will be an even better businessman in the future.
What is a strategic plan? In the simplest terms, it is identifying where you are now and where you want
to be in the future, then creating goals, action steps, checks and balances, and a thought-out plan for
getting there. Everyone’s current position and goals will be different. More importantly, everyone will
have a different vision of where they want to be in the future. Examining and analyzing external factors
or possible threats, like, the stock market, supply chains, local economies, and cost of goods, just to list a
few, will help to identify factors that will influence the steps you will take to meet your goals along the
way to where it is you want to be in the future. You will also want to identify your strengths and
weaknesses to maximize your efforts when taking steps to reach your goals. We must remember that
there are opportunities that can be found in bad situations, which can help guide your company on
where it may want to be in the future.
Most importantly, you must be able to identify where you want to be in the future and how you want
to take your company. Without this, you will not have a target to aim for, and something to be
accountable for, that will help keep you on track. In addition, you will want your thoughts and actions
working with a purpose so that you are not making spontaneous moves that lack reason or a defined
purpose that will not create value. These will help give a foundation for you to ensure you get to where
you want to be in the next few years and a proactive move to what is happening now.