“Successful people think ahead,” says Gene Marks, president of sales and marketing consultant company The Marks Group P. C. Speaking on political, economic and tech trends at IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013 in Orlando, Fla., he emphasized three basic things that should be on every business person’s mind.
First—watch C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network)! Everyone should stay abreast of current financial and business news. Our national debt is now above our GDP. Some say this is not a problem in itself, but Marks questions whether the U.S. will be going through what Europe is enduring now. How to fix it? There are a number of strategies, and strategists, but he points out the Canada model, in which spending cuts and tax hikes are used in a 7 to 1 ratio. Try to keep in mind where your economy is headed.
Second—have a “cloud” and “mobile” strategy. Examples include “hybrid cloud” solutions (a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and has others provided externally), DudaMobile to optimize your website for use on mobile devices, Google+ Hangouts for online communications and exchanges, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) web-based software for sales and customer service tracking and management.
Third—have dinner with your accountant. Keep on top of tax laws: defer or accelerate income; make tax-exempt investments (municipal bonds, for example); revisit your IRA/401K; consider energy credits; opt for Section 179 (accelerated depreciation); and offer tax-free education benefits to employees. Tax laws change every year, and you shouldn’t be caught by surprise.