Jan. 11 2019 06:00 AM

The new year has always been a gateway to change, providing people with new opportunities and the permission to travel a different path.

The new year has always been a gateway to change, providing people with new opportunities and the permission to travel a different path. This one is no exception. I’ve been writing a monthly business column for Irrigation & Green Industry magazine for many I’ve been blessed years. That is about to change. to have had the For as long as I’ve been writing this column, one of the great- opportunity to est constants has been the input work with some I’ve received from you, the readers. What I’ve enjoyed most is the business thought of the greatest tremendous diversity of the readership.

Over the years, I’ve heard from leaders both inside our industry, from manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and outside our industry, architects, developers, realtors, academics and government officials, and being able to get feedback from all of these unique perspectives has been invaluable. The kind words, targeted questions, real-world experiences and business challenges you’ve shared have all been great sources of ideas for my columns.

As the gateway to 2019 swings open, I’m announcing that I will no longer be writing a monthly column; instead, I will write three in-depth articles each year focusing on topics like workforce development and ways to profitably scale up your organization and maximize your company’s valuation. Whether you want to grow your company or engineer a graceful and profitable exit from it, maximizing its value is critical to a successful transition.

One of the three featured articles will be dedicated to new trends and how to identify and leverage them to create differentiation and generate above-industry-average profits and valuation.

While most of you have heard of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, I’ll teach you how to use an SWT (strengths, weaknesses and trends) tool to increase your revenues and gross margins. You’ll not only learn about the latest and greatest trends, but you’ll also be introduced to some of our industry’s most innovative trendsetters.

I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest business thought leaders both inside and outside of our industry. I’ll be introducing you to some of them and sharing their success secrets.

So, I’d like to wish you and your families a very healthy, happy and peaceful New Year. Thank you for your continued support — and hang on, this new ride is about to start!

Judith M. Guido is chairwoman of Guido & Associates, a business management company. She can be reached at judy@guidoassoc.com.