Roll With The Changes

When you picked up this issue of Rental Product News, you probably noticed things look a little different. We have a new logo and an updated style to our pages. It has been some time since we redesigned the magazine and we sincerely hope you like the new look.

As we were putting this issue together, I found myself thinking about change. In a recent company meeting, the owner of Cygnus Business Media focused on this very subject during his address to the employees. His suggestion was for us to strive to anticipate the direction of our respective industries and to change along with our customers. “Change or perish” was the general message. While the mandate presents a formidable challenge, the sentiment is sound advice for all of us.

Anticipating the direction of business is never easy, particularly for those who are prone to inertia or complacency-- which can be a natural tendency that’s very difficult to conquer. In our busy lives, sometimes it’s all we can do to simply complete the tasks that are absolutely necessary on that particular day. Thinking about and planning for the future are often put off for that magical moment when we’re all caught up and have a chance to catch our breath. The trouble is, that moment is elusive and never seems to arrive.

Anticipating change and planning a strategy for how to meet it are tasks that should be approached much like saving for retirement. Most financial advisors recommend paying yourself first. In other words, when you get paid, put some money in savings before you pay your bills or make a major purchase. When money is tight, this is a difficult strategy but necessary for a secure future. The same is true with business planning and strategizing. Carving out a little time on a regular basis to take stock of where you are and what direction you will choose to take with your business will help ensure that you’re not blindsided by the changes that are inevitable. If you’re not already doing it, consider scheduling a regular time to meet with key people on your staff--and possibly some friendly competitors whose insight you value-- to discuss the direction of the business climate in your area or the industry in general.

I know from talking with some of you that often it’s trends in local and state government that provide the biggest challenges for your business. Finding an opportunity to share your concerns with other business owners can not only provide solutions but also help you vent frustrations.

Getting back to the changes we’ve incorporated in this issue, you will notice we’ve added a “Letters to the editor” page. We have always encouraged an open dialogue with our readers and are pleased with the recent influx of letters we’ve received. We hope the addition of this page will inspire more readers to express their view points in print. So, if you have an issue that weighs heavily on your mind, let us know!