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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 4
Issue 4

The Value of Anticipation

"Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences."
Norman Cousins

Anticipating the future is an important element in a successful business. Think about how the Carly Simon song, “Anticipation,” is used in the advertisement for Heinz Ketchup. It implies that something good is coming and to hold on and wait for the delicious red condiment to slowly escape from the mouth of the bottle.

In business there should always be good things on the horizon to look forward to. For example, employees should know they can expect a long awaited raise after a profitable year. It can be very motivating after several down years when increases were put on hold. Informing the staff is a positive benefit of anticipation to the business.

Customers want to know when a new product will be released so they don’t buy something obsolete just prior to the launch of an upgrade. Anticipating the arrival of new products, lower prices or additional services may keep a customer from going elsewhere.

Anticipation can also be important for issues that can negatively affect your business. When competitive elements are involved, anticipation allows one to take offensive and defensive actions. It helps the business prepare for situations that might otherwise set it back.

Here are some ways you can be prepared by anticipating change on the horizon:

  • Know what new trends are coming in your industry. Don’t be caught off guard so that yours is the last business on the block to offer the latest and greatest. It is best to be in the first tier to come out with the hot new item. If not, you are always playing catch-up.
  • Be aware of the changing needs of your customers. With all the technology available, customers expect everything to be fast and easy. Make sure you are ready for the most current means to deliver your products or services. However, don’t forget technology is great for getting information and making purchases but if there’s a problem, customers want to talk to a real person. Give them want they want.
  • Understand that your key people may not be with you forever. Train others to fill jobs which your critical employees perform. If you anticipate that some may leave, you won’t be caught with your pants down, so to speak.
  • Remember, the economy will continue to fluctuate. When possible, recession-proof your business. Find ways to build in some protection against changes in the economy. The funeral business is one of the few industries that isn’t affected by ups and downs in the economy. People pass away regardless of what’s happening on Wall Street. The rest of us have to be ready for change.
  • Prepare for your personal needs. Anticipate what you will need to retire or sell your business. Then make sure you start early and work toward that goal.
If you anticipate the positive opportunities as well as the challenges that might befall your business, you will be in a better position to survive and even succeed. Get out from deep inside your business and take the temperature of the environment around you. Be aware, be prepared and enjoy the benefits of anticipating what is to come.

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