Ready for what’s next

By: Matt Wilson, NTEA president; Chairman & CEO of Switch-N-Go, AmeriDeck & Bucks Divisions of Deist Industries Inc.

This article was published in the December 2016 edition of NTEA News.

As I write this article, I’m looking forward to Nov. 9 — the finale of an event that spanned the past six months. Yes, I’m talking about the 2016 United States presidential election.

Like many people exercising their right to vote, I’m glad to move on to what comes next. I’m a believer in the resourceful, can-do, entrepreneurial spirit that helps fuel our economy once we know the rules of the game. When such guidelines are given, we are ready to go forward and can be successful.

This has been my attitude for most of my life. I don’t like sitting still and tend to feel the best when I’m challenged personally. With experience and good mentorship, I learned how to channel my drive to move onto what’s next and achieve my goals. Following are the six steps I take to accomplish this.

  1. Start with an idea.
  2. Investigate the idea, validating its feasibility/benefit.
  3. Test or sample it.
  4. Review the results.
  5. Decide whether to scrap the idea and cut your losses or fund it and move forward.
  6. If funding, set expectations and review periods to see how the idea is progressing, including what needs to occur to continue investing in the project.

In years past, I likely skipped a step or two, and as a result, may not have gotten the most out of the idea or resources spent on moving it forward. I learned from my own mistakes as well as some of the great opportunities I had both outside and inside the work truck industry to gain knowledge from successful professionals across many types and sizes of business. 

Keep in mind, this is a high-level look at the decision-making processes we have at Deist Industries, which are supplemented by processes, market research, customer and distributor surveys, prototyping, cost analysis, etc. But, this is a start. If you find yourself rushing through a project, take a step back and make sure your energy and company resources are spent with a sense of urgency as you evaluate and execute the idea.

I thought this topic would be timely as many organizations are preparing to start a new year and move forward with next steps in their business plans. I also wanted to share this information because during my time on NTEA’s Board, I’m pleased to say Trustees and Association staff work well together and take the long view as far as developing the best resources to help members and the industry stay informed and viable now and into the future.

While this practice is carried across all Association initiatives, an example of its application is in the investigation and development of the vocational data program. This is a long-term, wide-reaching project being carried out with the aid of numerous industry stakeholders. I’m proud to say I have been part of it, as I know it will benefit the industry for years to come.

I hope this article proves timely for you and your company as you prepare for the start of 2017. I wish you all nothing but the best personally and professionally in the coming year.