Okay here we are again. The beginning of a brand-spanking shiny new year. 2018! Who would have thought we would make it this long? But we did, and the North American PCB business is still alive and kicking. But, as we turn the page on another new year we should consider what we want to do with this new year. Are we going to do what we have always done and expect different results? You know the answer to that old saying, don’t you? This is what I think, I think, that if we all do things a little bit differently this year, if we all make a resolution to look at our business model a little differently this time, if we all change our attitude just a little bit, things will change for the better. Yes indeed, we can make a difference and we can have a better maybe even a great 2018.
Here are six things we can do to make sure that this year will be a great one.
- Stop being so desperate, so scared that our business is dying. Because it’s not. The pros tell us that we could see a $70 Billion-dollar market this year. Think about that, $70 Billion! And then think of the relatively small fraction of that business you need to make 2018 your best year ever.
- Tear down those walls. In the end we are all in the sales business. We sell PCBs, all kinds of PCBs. You are already paying for that sales force, you might as well leverage it as far as you can. Offer you customers everything from value-added offshore to domestic ITAR, to flex and rigid-flex. If you don’t build it yourself find a partner who does.
- Make you sales effort intentional. In simple terms this means treat sales like you mean it. Give it the respect and attention it deserves. Sales is the most important department in your company. It is the only one reaching out to the market with the goal of growing your business. Anything else you do from buying new equipment, to growing into new technologies, is all dependent on how good and successful your sales effort is. Too many of you have been treating sales, and everything it encompasses like a necessary evil; and as far as that goes you’re only half right, it is necessary, extremely necessary to your company’s future.
- Get your name out in the marketplace. People need to know who you are if they are going to find you and buy from you. Your competitors are marketing thier companies using everything from traditional advertising, to social media, to SEO (sales engine optimization), this is no time for shrinking violets. This is a time to get out there and tell people about your company and what you can do for them.
- Hire new blood. We have all been horrified at the lack of youth in our industry here in North America, let’ stop being horrified and do something about it. In the past few months I have come across a number of aggressive, well-educated, young people who are passionate about our industry and want to join us. They are out there, and they are ready to get involved, learn everything they can about both bare board fabrication and contract manufacturing and get to work. Once again, I’ll use that word “intentional”, let’s intentionally seek out, hire, and train the youngsters. We are not going to live forever, and the way things are going our American PCB industry is going to die off with us, if we don’t do something about it.
- Forget the “good old day” they are all a figment of your imagination. I was there, and I can tell you they weren’t that good. You just remember them with those rose-colored glasses we use to view the past. So, forget about them, and for heaven’s sakes stop, please stop waiting for them to come back because first of all they won’t, and second of all you wouldn’t like it one bit if they did.
And yes, one more as always under promise and over deliver. And you’re not going to believe this one. Have some fun. That’s right have a good time for once. Let’ stop being so darned serious about our business. Let’s look at the bright side of things and realize that we have a lot of good thing going for us right now. The industry is growing, the technology is rising, our customers are getting smarter and more appreciative of what we are doing for them, and over all things are getting better for those of us in both bare boards and contract manufacturing. So, lose the gloomy attitude and get to work and “intentionally” do what you have to do, and it will be a great year. Have a good and prosperous 2018. It’s only common sense.