I'm not an economic guru and I do not have a crystal ball, but my 'spider senses are tingling' these days. Life, as we all figure out when we get a little older, is fleeting. The economy - people make the phrase out to be a six-headed monster - will rise and fall over time. Or at least it has in my time.
The idea of steady growth is a concept to aspire to but not necessarily a reality. In our business, for sure, you have to stay on your toes. Many are hoping that it can't get any worse. Entire industries have taken a severe beating in the last few years. Some, it seems, don't have a recovery in sight. I wonder if some of the people in those industries can afford to wait.
In 1978 there was one single tiny computer in my high school of 4,000 kids. I knew where it was and what it did. In the grand scheme of the ups and downs of my life, it was a very lucky break. I'll fill you in on a little secret. We now have the ability to manage the six-headed monster with just a little device we hold in the palm of our hands. I do not care if you are 3 or 89, you must embrace the device. We joke in the office by saying, "This internet thing, I think it might just catch on."
You might have to retool a bit, I realize that, especially if you are closer to 89 than 3. I don't want to sound like I'm preaching, but you can do this. The rules are the same as they've always been.
Do something related to what you love.
Think less initial capital not more. Don't sink in your life savings. There's no need.
Scan the marketplace. Find your niche.
Work hard. Hire methodically. Be the tortoise not the hare with your expectations and your growth.
Stay on your toes.
Stephen Siano, 4x3 CTO 4x3, with offices in Ardmore, PA, is a small, methodically growing design firm that specializes in helping startup to small business to medium sized companies succeed.