Predicting the Future

Over the next few weeks every pundit on the planet will have a go at predicting the future. I have just looked at some 10-50 year predictions from a couple of years ago and several have already happened. But no-one predicted this year’s financial problems, even though the signs were already there.

So what does it all mean?

It means that the future is coming up so fast that by the time we have made our forecasts, they could well have become history already! The present economic situation hit us hard and fast and took most people completely by surprise. The next change could happen just as fast, but what it will be – who knows?

But one thing I can tell you is that, just as the current situation is creating winners as well as losers, so will the next change…. and the next…. and the next!

Looking back I’ve been a winner more often than I’ve been a loser. Even the one occasion that I appeared at first glance to be a loser, turned around the other way and sent me in a direction I would never have expected. So how did I do that?

Opportunity Knocks!

No! Nothing to do with the TV talent show that nobody remembers. During periods of change opportunity is everywhere and during periods of rapid change, the opportunties really come thick and fast – so look out for them. Focus on opportunities not problems. Smart business people of the past learned the easy way to do business:

“Find out what people want and help them to get it!”

Simple? Obvious? Common Sense? Yes! So why are so many businesses still trying so hard and spending so much money to try to convince us we want stuff that we really neither want nor need? Because in a boom when many consumers have more money than sense, it can work. But in an economic downturn, when everyone is watching the cash and being very careful how they spend it, you had better be offering them exactly what they want and need in their current situation.

The business that can understand what their customers want most right now, and that can deliver it in terms of quality, service and value, will always prosper.

Think positive and Roll on 2009! 🙂