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The 7 Year Itch... Will Your Members Scratch It?


As your association and your Members begin to navigate 2023, it is important you begin to really think through how you choose to approach your growth strategy in the next seven years. Here’s why:


Demographically, the U.S. economy is poised to have a fairly robust time of growth. Key demographic shifts will drive the next seven years to create this growth, but also create big challenges. The Baby Boomers and Millennials are the two largest generations in our history. With Baby Boomers living longer and owning a good portion of the wealth, and the Millennials entering their first time of buying a home and high-income earning years, many industries are going to experience high demand. A few other demographic shifts taking place that will drive certain industries in positive and negative paths in the U.S. are:


16 to 19 Year Olds

We have the largest population of 16–19-year-olds in our history. This provides great opportunity as they become active consumers in the future. Growth in this age bracket used to offer great hope for the labor market, because they typically worked in retail and service-related jobs in America. However, despite the record population in this age bracket, labor reports show we have a record low number of 16–19-year-olds looking for their first jobs. This is not a good trend for labor markets. Associations and their Members need to find a path to engaging the younger generation into industries that offer them opportunity and match up with their core values.


30 Year Olds

In the U.S. economy, most of a person’s income is earned between 35 to 55. This past year, the largest population in our history, between 35-55, began turning 38. This is a great sign for the next 10 years. Think about what happens in your early 30’s. You buy your first home. Many are having their first child. Having your first child increases the likelihood you upgrade your car. With discretionary income building, more leisure travel takes place. As people progress in their careers and have money, they join associations to gain knowledge and build their networks. Lots of opportunity exists for many industries who are in the supply chains impacted by the growing population and purchasing power of 30 somethings.


60 Year Olds

Just like the U.S. will have a record number of mid-30-year-olds in the next 10 years, there’s also is a record number of individuals hitting their 60’s. Whereas the 30 somethings are beginning to build their wealth, the 60+ year olds already have the wealth and are ready to spend it. Everything from healthcare, RVs to retirement facilities, and any industry connected to the supply chains for 60+ year old consumers are going to grow fast. Are your members ready.


Why is This Important?

No matter what industry you are in, when you understand the demographics of America and know how the

population is growing or declining, you can better prepare to maximize your growth. From what I’ve shared, look at the industries and supply chains connected to those that will grow:


  • Automotive

  • Agriculture

  • Housing – Construction

  • Real Estate

  • Any Industry Connected to Housing

  • Legal Services

  • Appliances

  • Aerospace

  • Healthcare

  • Leisure Travel

  • Retirement Homes

  • RVs & Campgrounds


These are just a few industries that will grow over the next 7 to 10 years due to the growth of the population of people who purchase their products.


What is the Challenge Standing in the Face of Growth for Your Members


It is important that you and your Members gear up your operations to maximize your productivity and throughput NOW, so your team doesn’t experience burnout during this growth period. Labor is already in short supply and will not get any better. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor participation rate in every working demographic group will be lower in 2030 than it is today. Knowing that single piece of information, it is imperative your Members take the following three steps in 2023 to become a highly efficient, “SMART COMPANY” and maximize growth over the next seven years:


Ramp Up Training for Both Managers and Technical Line Personnel

Studies show that people are not leaving their jobs or companies, they are leaving their boss. It is important that anyone in charge of managing 2 or more people be trained in the skills for managing people. Those skills are not natural for most people. They need to be taught. Technical training is super important so your line personnel can think on their own, without key management being over their shoulders reviewing every step. Management doesn’t have the time. Engage your employees in training that drives their daily purpose and enhances their career, and you will experience loyalty and higher productivity. Associations are the primary training resource for their members.


Become a Smart Company

In today’s world of technology, we have smart phones, smart cars, and smart homes. The question is, is your company a smart company? Do you have the latest and necessary technology in your company working with employees, helping to maximize their efficiencies and throughput? It is important you research Industry 4.0 models and the Internet of Things to see how you can connect people, machines, process, data, and technology to streamline your operations. With effective Industry 4.0 implementation, you can grow your business with little new labor being required.


Implement Process Flow Mapping

Simply put, process flow mapping is the process of redesigning your entire operation to make sure you are minimizing waste in every facet of your business model. You will want to study every step from sales, order receipt, production, operations, and order fulfillment to make sure you have minimized waste, such as time, paper, documentation, and people. It is important to implement Industry 4.0 methods to streamline and automate as much of your processes as possible. Failure to do so will make you fully reliant on human labor, and make your company uncompetitive with an inability to service your customer at the highest levels.


Why is the next seven years so important? In 2030, further demographic shifts and economic factors could see the US going through a deep downturn in the 2030s. Hence, the importance of growth now and building of efficiencies in 2023, to be able to minimize the impact of any future downturns is absolutely imerative.


The growth is already happening. The time to gear up for growth is now so you don’t burn your staff out with too much work and not enough people. Burnout is causing many to look at other industries. By refining your operations and including your team in the process, you will get total buy-in, preparing your Members for the growth headed your way.


Make 2023 the year you and your Members learn about the seven-year itch to take advantage of the demographic and technology shifts that will happen between now and 2030.


If you would like Tom Morrison to energize your attendees and give them solutions and hope for the future at your next event in 2023, CLICK HERE to complete Tom's online RFP form.

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