Distributors: Take the Long-Term View

long term perspective distributorsOn a daily basis, you can get news on mergers and acquisitions and the quarterly reports of publicly traded companies. And it seems like every week a new report comes out outlining new industry trends.

It’s not surprising that distributors are paying attention to the day-to-day. There’s nothing wrong with reading this stuff – I look at it, too. But many place way too much emphasis on what’s right in front of them and forget to pay attention to long-term trends that will ultimately have the largest effect on them.

The problem with paying so much attention to the immediate is that a lot of news stories and Top 10 lists you see don’t have a lot of meat on them in terms of helping you make decisions for your business. What’s the impact on your business if this company acquired that company, or Grainger’s sales were up or down this month? Does that news help you prepare your business for the future?

While such news may be important in the short-term, when you instead start focusing on the tide instead of the waves, you can explore the deeper, more enduring trends that are the most disruptive, like the aging workforce and consolidation and millennials and the “internet of things.” These trends didn’t just start in 2016, and they’re not going away in 2017.

Focusing on these long-term trends will get you closer to something truly actionable. To get all the way there, look at these trends through the eyes of your customers and spend time trying to really understand the turmoil they’re causing them. If you do that, you can start responding to them now, and, over time, reposition yourself to stay close to your customers and stay sticky.

To learn more about how we can help your business stay relevant in the face of long-term, disruptive trends, give us a call at 321-956-8617 or email info@ircg.com.