2011 Outlook

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Results from a brief survey of nearly 50 smail- and medium-sized manufacturing, technology and service firms in southwestern Pennsylvania. Interesting results and sure to provide you with some encouragement -- and focus -- for 2011.

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  • 2011 Outlook

    1. 1. PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKING 2011 Outlook January 2011
    2. 2. Overview
    3. 3. Overview44 companies took part in the benchmarking study - a newhigh water mark!I was stunned at the degree of optimismAs well as the results to match the optimismAnd with that in mind, it is interesting to see what peopleare focused on for 2011
    4. 4. Optimism ispretty well off the charts 95% of respondents feel good about 2011!
    5. 5. Wow!
    6. 6. 86% expectgrowth in sales and profit only one company anticipates a decline
    7. 7. Maybe I set the clock wrong, but ...
    8. 8. 3/4of all respondents have seen sales, profit and the number of customers increase since the start of 2009
    9. 9. More than half of all respondents have increased employment
    10. 10. So, did a recession take place in southwestern Pennsylvania?
    11. 11. So, did a recession take place in southwestern Pennsylvania? Or only in the rest of the country?!?
    12. 12. Would the results have looked a lot different, if we had made the comparison with the beginning of 2008, instead of the beginning of 2009?
    13. 13. After speaking with about a half a dozen company executives, the answer seems to be “Yes”
    14. 14. The focus for 2011broke down into 2 distinct groups
    15. 15. There was a clear lead dog: Winning market share more than 1/3 picked it first and over 60% had it first or second
    16. 16. Along with two fast followers:
    17. 17. More than half of all respondents had “launching new products/services” listed first or second
    18. 18. and 45% had “strengthening my team” first or second
    19. 19. Another way of looking at this:
    20. 20. Another way of looking at this:Of the 88 selections indicating the 44 participating companies’ top 2 priorities, 80% clicked one of these three
    21. 21. Winning market shareLaunching new products/services Strengthening my team
    22. 22. That’s the first group
    23. 23. On the other side of the coin: Reducing cost and Increasing pricingwere a way distant fourth and fifth
    24. 24. Respondents were asked torate their teams
    25. 25. While it was possibleto choose more than one response, the message was loud and clear
    26. 26. More than 80% of the companies feel that“We still have work to do to strengthen our hand.”
    27. 27. Encouragingly, the next most common response (from 1/3 of the companies) was:
    28. 28. “Our team is now better than ever” Encouragingly, the next most common response (from 1/3 of the companies) was:
    29. 29. Interestingly -- and also encouragingly -- only a handful of people indicated that ...
    30. 30. “We still need to clear out some dead wood” or “We are worse off than we’ve been in some time”
    31. 31. Regarding other critical issues, there were two that stood out
    32. 32. Talent acquisition nearly 50% chose this
    33. 33. and margin pressure (39%)
    34. 34. and margin pressure (39%)
    35. 35. Changes to wages/benefits (27%) and Access to capital (16%) were less significant overall
    36. 36. What one thing?Open ended questions can be tough to quantifybut it’s really important to let create an “open mic”
    37. 37. “What one thing do you most want to accomplish in 2011 -- besides increasing sales and profit!”
    38. 38. While worded many different ways, growth issues were #1 with a bullet, cited by 39% of all respondents
    39. 39. While worded many different ways, growth issues were #1 with a bullet, cited by 39% of all respondents -- in spite of how the question was worded!
    40. 40. The only other issue to register in a significant way was productivity/process improvement (23%)
    41. 41. Summary
    42. 42. Companies in the region areincredibly optimistic about 2011
    43. 43. 91%feel they are in a better competitive position than they were at the beginning of 2009
    44. 44. Over 85% expect sales and profits to increase in 2011
    45. 45. And more than 3/4 of all respondents haveincreased sales, profit and the number of customers in the past two years
    46. 46. So why not be optimistic? A majority of companies have increased employment in the past 24 months
    47. 47. Companies in the region are looking to press their advantage
    48. 48. As we’ve seen, they are focused on
    49. 49. As we’ve seen, they are focused on Winning market share
    50. 50. As we’ve seen, they are focused on Winning market shareLaunching new products and services
    51. 51. As we’ve seen, they are focused on Winning market shareLaunching new products and services and strengthening their teams
    52. 52. While anticipating margin pressure in 2011,companies are focused on talent acquisition, another surefire sign of a focus on growth
    53. 53. And, as a further indication of this intense focus, in response to “What one thing?” ...
    54. 54. ... by far the most common responses referred to enteringnew markets, launching new products, building capacity and brand awareness
    55. 55. Recommendations/Next steps
    56. 56. I recently discovered small business marketing guru John Jantsch
    57. 57. The Referral Engine can wander abit and both books probably cram in too-oo much information,
    58. 58. The Referral Engine can wander a bit and both books probably cram in too-oo much information, but they are the two best smallbusiness marketing books I’ve read in a very long time
    59. 59. These are excellent places to start - orenhance - your plans for winning marketshare, as well as successfully launching new products and services
    60. 60. Regarding talent, I plan to share some useful tools and information in the coming weeks
    61. 61. In the meantime ...
    62. 62. The first issue related to talent is to take a clear- eyed view of the people currently in the most critical positions in your company
    63. 63. Are they A players?
    64. 64. Are they A players?If not, can they be A players?
    65. 65. Are they A players? If not, can they be A players?And, if not, can you live with something less than an A player in this role?
    66. 66. The next part of this equation involves acquiring talent and, despite stubbornly high unemployment, there is no high- end talent glut on the market
    67. 67. Sorry
    68. 68. The approach that I think bodes best is: Optimize the talent you haveand make recruiting for key positions an on-going activity that you pursue relentlessly
    69. 69. Clients of mine have benefitted enormouslyfrom having a clear set of Core Values, which they use ... to establish metrics, in performance reviews and in interviewing and on-boarding new people
    70. 70. On talent acquisition, there are no easy answers ... only sensible approaches
    71. 71. I hope you enjoyed the year end holidays!
    72. 72. And all the best in 2011!
    73. 73. And all the best in 2011! (May all that optimism be handsomely rewarded.)
    74. 74. THANKS!If you are interested in more information or have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
    75. 75. THANKS!If you are interested in more information or have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me. BRYAN J. FISCHER OneStepBeyond 1415 Macon Avenue 8 Pittsburgh, PA 1521 41 2.849.7261 yondllc.com bfischer@onestepbe

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