Business Thoughts for 2024

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By Marshall Doak, SOU SBDC Director

It seemed appropriate to compile a few thoughts together regarding the business ecosystem as it pertains to the start of 2024. The reader might find this strange when the first two months of 2024 have already occurred. The calendar seemingly is moving forward faster than the ability to manage it this year. At the 16.67% complete mark, here are a few thoughts for you to ponder in the hopes you find actionable value:

The State Legislature is in Session. This is the short-cycle Legislature but seems to be packed full of bills relating to housing, the economy and tax structure. Keep an eye out as to how the results of this Legislature will affect your profitability in future years.

Artificial Intelligence is moving towards mainstream acceptance. I prefer to think of A.I. as a tool for writing letters and for basic search optimization, areas I am increasingly using A.I. on a regular basis. For those who are not accepting A.I. as it currently is built, have no worries. ChatGPT has a list of the usefulness of humans in conjunction with A.I. and that A.I. will not take over the World and kill off humanity. (at least not yet). Just ask it!

Human capital is still in short supply. This is a huge issue to businesses at any level. Put attention to your workforce needs through building a plan how you intend to recruit and retain the talent you have on staff. The costs involved in hiring and training replacement employees is high. Sit with your accountant or bring your books to the SBDC and we can help you figure out exactly what those costs are.

Expand everything marketing. Do you need an explanation of this? Do you know what multiple income streams and market segments mean to businesses regarding building resiliency and sustainability? Hint: It means everything in the long-run.

Speaking of being in business, do you know why YOU are in business? A number of the clients we see decide to not do any homework they have been given regarding building pieces of a business plan. The short story is that these people are wasting their time and resources working towards a business failure. It is much easier to have a business failure without all the work.

It is even much more rewarding to have a business succeed regardless of the work involved. Let’s call this a primary goal!

Network. At all levels you can find. Let’s sit over coffee and discuss this. 541.552.8300.

If you are going out of business in the next five years, start working towards that goal today. Let’s talk about your readiness to recoup your investment you made over time. We can do an assessment of your readiness to sell, or you can fold your business and lose the accumulated wealth. As there is competition in the market for qualified purchasers, unfortunately most businesses fold rather than sell.

If you want to expand, regardless of what form that takes, you need money. We have helped many companies qualify for loans and investment capital. It’s one of the core SBDC activities, with all services delivered in confidence.

Have you registered your beneficial ownership with FinCEN under the Corporate Transparency Act? It’s time to think about doing it.

GOT Plans? We love to review plans and draft financials to help you do what you want to accomplish. Our advisers are veterans of industry and small businesses, are educated and are dedicated to assisting you build success. Top talent at your fingertips. We review scores of plans that are ultimately presented as documents, sketches, canvases, pitch decks, audio narratives and other methods of presentation.

There is 83.33% of the Year left to implement the goals and plans you are making today, but time does tend to move along at a quick pace when a person is busy, right?

Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center


Oregon Small Business Development Centers are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and by the Oregon Business Development Department. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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