Dan Judge, Chairman and CFO
As we close 2018 and look forward to 2019, many are wondering what the economy will do next. Certainly, there are many predictions circulating in our industry ranging from a recession to continued growth.
The third quarter of 2018 found 43% of our quarterly NetPlus Industry Outlook survey respondents up significantly in sales and 35% expecting to exceed 2017’s sales by between 3% and 7%. The strong economy, both locally and nationally, seemed to be the underlying reason for the growth.
NetPlus conducts its Industry Outlook survey quarterly, and the report that results from this research is one of many benefits for our distributor members and supplier members. Members have been overwhelmingly optimistic over the past few surveys about 2018; we’ll soon learn how NetPlus distributors fared last year and how they feel about 2019 when we conduct the next survey this month.
Although I wish I had a crystal ball, I do know that distributors that take steps now to ensure they sustain previous business growth will be in the best shape to succeed in 2019 regardless of what the economy holds. What does “keep up the good work” look like for our buying group? Build a strong foundation in these two areas:
Strong leadership is critical to ensuring your management team and sales/operational personnel know that business is solid. In addition, keep encouraging your employees to operate efficiently and communicate effectively so that you can maintain a positive trajectory and make course corrections as needed.
In economically and politically uncertain times, customers need to hear from you more than ever. Let your customers know that you will do whatever is necessary to help them sustain business and continue to serve their customers. Customers are looking for distributors who will help them navigate cost savings, offer special inventory and help with emergency deliveries so they can continue to offer exceptional service that increases their business.
We may not see another phenomenal growth year like 2018, but we can do what is necessary to sustain the growth we have achieved so far. Keep leading your teams and communicating with your customers.
NetPlus Alliance is looking forward to growing with you in 2019!