Can’t believe it is February already!
We are a little slow in our routine this year, still, we can’t help embracing Lunar New Year.
Hope you had a strong finish in 2022. It was a challenging year in many ways. We are still coming back from COVID and adjusting to the new “normal”.
Virtual communication has now become mainstream for business, school, and even personal communication. This used to be the exception, rather than the rule — not so much now. Everyday mainstream social calls are done with video using applications like FaceTime or Google Meet.
In an effort to combat rising inflation, the Fed has been raising interest rates and reducing the money supply. There were five rate hikes in 2022, for a combined 3% increase, and potential for more to come in 2023. Mortgage rates surged in 2022, with the typical 30-year loan topping 7% by year-end, more than double the average rate at the beginning of the year. The discount rate hovered near 0% from 2008 to 2016, trending up slightly to 2.4% in 2019, and then hovering near 0% again in 2020 and 2021.
Increasing interest rates, and reducing the money supply, usually has the effect of contracting the economy. There has been lingering talk of an impending recession, but even the experts don’t seem to know for sure. In order to avoid that outcome, the Fed will need to know when to take its foot off the (economic) break; yet this is far from an exact science. There is always some lag between the actions and the corresponding economic outcomes. It is extremely difficult to predict the with any certainty.
We can’t predict the future with certainty, what can we do?
We can start by evaluating what happened in 2022. If you follow this newsletter, then you started the year with SMART goals. You also monitored those goals on a regular basis throughout the year.
How did you do? Were you overly optimistic in some areas? Were you overly pessimistic in others? That is completely normal. The one thing we know about goals and forecasts is that we will always be wrong! It is almost impossible to hit them on the nose every time. We just need to evaluate the results and be brutally honest. We need to celebrate our successes with gusto, we (you) deserve it! We also need to own our shortcomings and figure out how to address them.
Then we need to map out a plan to move forward, using our past results, our key learnings from last year, and all the information we have about the future. There are a lot of forecasts for the coming year that are available. There are lots of them that are available for free. There are a number of banks and investment companies that offer outlooks for the coming year. The Federal Reserve has annual and even quarterly forecasts. There are a number of industry groups that focus on specific verticals as well.
Create a new set of SMART goals for 2023. Communicate them to all the stakeholders who are affected by them. Then make sure that you have created an organizational structure, gathered the required skills, and funded the correct activities, to achieve those goals.
The rest of it depends on the business environment, our ability to execute, and there is also a healthy dose of good fortune required as well. That is where Lunar New Year comes in.
Whatever your plan, you know we are on your side, and want you to hit the ball out of the park.
Happy Lunar New Year – The year of the rabbit.
Please let us know how we can help.
Know it will be a great one!
The Zairmail Team.
Here’s to the Year of the Rabbit!
The Zairmail team worked hard for you in 2022. We have big plans to do even more for 2023. We are always looking for your comments and suggestions. We are working hard to build the most powerful direct mail marketing tool on the planet for you. How are we doing? Are there features you love? Are there others that need to improve. We would love to know. Zairmail only exists because it is the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to send mail. We need your help to make sure it remains that way.