Oct. 17 2011 03:18 PM

With most companies reviewing and revising their strategic plans and supply management practices at this time of year, i encourage you to take a hard look at the past, present and future. Assess what lessons the past has taught you, and ensure that you’ve leveraged what you’ve learned into specific and measurable action plans. What are the present market dynamics telling you, and is it necessary for you to recalibrate now, in order to end the year (and begin 2012) on a positive note?

While both the past and present hold valuable information, the future sheds some of the brightest light for growth. The future is your door of opportunity— it holds great promise for creating differentiation by embracing new products and services that can help you outshine the competition, while generating sustainable revenue streams for you. This fall, suppliers are launching new services and products, enhancing existing ones, introducing disruptive technologies and altering business models. Customers are on the lookout for new and improved products and ways to leverage trends. They rely heavily on contractors to help satisfy those needs. Ask yourself, what commitments have you made to embrace change and introduce it to your stakeholders?

Forward trends help paint a picture of the future. Some trends that have great market momentum, and promise of return in excess of fifteen percent include, outdoor living renovations with ecological and natural products offerings, farmscaping which promotes growing herbs and vegetables on both residential and commercial sights, and co-branding with local partners to develop green value chains with an emphasis on recycling part of the profits back into the local community.

Developing mobile shops (offices) with strategic partners in non-traditional areas such as farmers’ markets, local green grocery stores, nurseries, high-end malls and galleries are creating new experiences for buyers, leveraging the ecotrend, and generating lots of excitement and revenue. Landscapers are co-branding and differentiating themselves with the local leading restaurants by building living green herb walls and window boxes.

The future has endless possibilities for those willing to embrace change. Those who do will be rewarded by the market. Don’t fall back into your comfort zone, spring forward and welcome the future! EDiTor’S NoTE: Judith M. Guido is chairwoman of Guido & Associates, a business management company. She can be reached at 818-800-0135 or jmguido@sbcglobal.net