MAKE WOOD SEXY
DON’T LOOK AT THE NEXT YEAR
Look at the Next 10
2020 begins a brand-new decade with all of the opportunities and transformations that come with it. January is a great month to look forward to an exciting year, but it’s also important to take a moment and reflect on what you’ve already accomplished.
Take a look over the past 10 years. How far have you and your business come? Inevitably, you faced off against hardships, made vital choices, and passed milestones. Each of those circumstances led you to where you are right now. Reflecting on them and, more importantly, learning from them is exactly what pushes you forward. The past impacts the future, for better or for worse. Look at 10 years ago: Business owners pushed through the last dregs of the recession and either thrived or crumpled. Many of the larger woodworking companies that were around no longer exist, but the people in those business didn’t give up. Today, we see a surplus of smaller woodworking companies, formed from the disruption in the economy and subsequent layoffs 10 years ago. Resolute, many former craftsmen and employees became entrepreneurs as they set out to start their own businesses, and soon after, small shops popped up everywhere. The fragmentation of some of the largest companies in the industry led to the competitive market we see today, and it serves as a reminder of why we need to prepare for the next 10 years. How will the market shift over the next decade? Will you be ready, and will your business be agile enough when it does? The influence of technology only increased in our industry over the last decade and shows no signs of slowing down in the next. Robotic arms, 3D printers, and even artificial
intelligence have significantly changed the market, from sales to deliverables and everywhere in between along the supply chain. Of course, no one can see the future, but I don’t think I’m making a wild prediction that this is only going to increase, and increase rapidly. And whether it's technology, the economy, or something else we can’t foresee, one thing is certain: Changes will happen. Every business is different, but I’d like to share how we are looking forward to 2020 and beyond. I’ve integrated a seven-point plan here at Kitply Industries that we’ve used to plan for our future, and we’ve seen positive results. 1. DESIRE: For a successful future, you need to desire it. 2. SWOT ANALYSIS: By creating a SWOT chart, you’ll look at your company’s internal and external factors through strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The goal is to support strengths, remove weaknesses, take opportunities, and brace against threats. 3. RANK AND PRIORITIZE THE SWOT: With your SWOT chart, decide what is most essential for the biggest impact. 4. FOCUS ON THE TOP 3: Take what’s left of your SWOT list and narrow it down to three distinct factors. So, how do we prepare?
5. BEGIN WITH THE END: Ask yourself: What is the perfect end scenario for you? What do you need to do to achieve that end goal? 6. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: Start planning. Take what you’ve gleaned from your SWOT analysis, create a plan for the future, and implement it. 7. MEASURE: To track how far you’ve come in your goals, you need to measure your success. Create a system and track the metrics that are essential for you and your company. For Kitply Industries, the start of this past decade was our beginning. We wouldn’t have reached where we are today and accomplished what we have over the years without preparing and focusing on future growth. The world we live in is constantly changing — it doesn’t stop, and neither should you. -Ankit Sharma
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Setting clear goals is crucial to the success of your business and yourself. However, the problem is not creating goals, but finding the motivation to see them through. So, how do we develop goals we can religiously follow and achieve? The solution is to create your goals from your values. Imagine your most endearing activities, ones you would do almost anything to participate in, like golf, skiing, off-roading, etc. The goals you set must ignite that same fire in your belly in order to have the desire and motivation to pursue them. Many experts talk about setting SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. While this is an excellent way to set clear goals, it’s not enough to inspire us to achieve them on the darkest of days. I have my own SMART method. I prefer calling them SMARTY goals. The “Y” represents why that goal is essential to me. Yes, we need our goals to be SMART, but we must ask ourselves, “ Why is this goal important to me?” Motivation is what matters, and we find it through that extra step. Most of us probably can't walk 100 miles nonstop, but if that was the only way to take a sick child, parent, or family member to the hospital, then you bet we will do it. To help you find the “why” behind your goals, ask yourself these questions: • What is the outcome of my goal? • Why does this outcome matter to me? • How will I measure my success? • What challenges will I face? • Who will support me? • What will it look like when I have achieved this goal? • How will achieving this goal impact my life and those I love? • 2020 is here, giving you a chance to look at where your business is at and start planning for the future. You need to know what you want for your business, set goals you feel passionate about, and create a rock-solid plan to crush them. Take stock of which goals you’ve accomplished, which you need to revisit, and which new goals you need to create. DON’T BE SMART; BE SMARTY Finding Purpose and Direction in Your Business Goals What is at stake if I don't achieve this goal?
Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. START BY DUSTING Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. CLEAN UP SPACE Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there. TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER MONTH CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER
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ARE YOU REALLY MAKING CHANGES? OR JUST THINKING ABOUT THEM?
SIMPLE PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH
It’s natural to put up boundaries to protect ourselves. However, sometimes you need to tear down those boundaries and step outside your comfort zone. This is especially necessary in the woodworking industry of today. Many woodworking executives deny the boundaries they’ve built for themselves, saying they embrace change, but their actions speak louder than words. The idea of change is certainly alluring, but the action of making change a reality is what counts. A business that doesn’t grow doesn’t accept the change in their industry. You need to first acknowledge the boundaries around yourself in order to step outside of them. The biggest drawback of progress is fear of the unknown. “What-ifs” can plague a business owner’s mind, fueling their tight boundaries and yanking them further away from growth and success. In the woodworking industry, bravery isn’t always the solution to overcome that fear; action is.
In a recent article, I wrote about my decision to leave my job cold turkey and start my own business before securing its viability. This mindset has followed me throughout my business career. I strive to push myself outside my comfort zone without a safety net to cushion my fall. This propels Kitply Industries forward and often results in great success. People love having a plan B, but inadvertently, that can make your business weaker. A safety net prevents you from pushing yourself to your limits. You may not give your all to your business if you are constantly relying on a crutch. Remove any alternate options you have stashed away to make the biggest and most impactful changes. Now is the time to take that leap of faith. Step outside the safety of the boundaries you’ve created and take your business to the next level. TAKE A BREAK
• • • • • • •
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar, optional
1 3/4 cups milk
Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet
1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.
Inspired by The New York Times
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
The Transformations of the Decades Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer Give Your Goals Value The Idea of Change Is Not Change Itself
Simple Pancakes From Scratch The Sweetest Crime in History
The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist HISTORY’S SWEETEST THEFT
Maple syrup holds a proud place
Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with
10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year. Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.
in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada.
It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford,
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