As we enter a new year, I have heard more than the average number of people say, "2016, I won’t miss you!" The sentiment appears to be, everyone is hoping for a better year in 2017.

Our world is changing in many ways. In 2016, the pace of change seemed to accelerate. Whether or not you like change is irrelevant. Significant changes are happening, whether we like them or not, in politics, computer technology, and the way society looks at religion.

If you want to be more successful in 2017 than you were in 2016, now is a good time to consider reinventing your business. Let me give you 3 perspectives to consider.

1. Donald Trump was elected president.

The election of a new president from a different party signals an enormous change to the political landscape in the U.S., which will have significant impact on businesses. And with significant changes come significant opportunities.

As a result of Trump's election, Linda McMahon has been appointed as the new head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), for example. Now, I do not know who the head of the SBA was for Barack Obama, but I am expecting huge benefits for small businesses across America resulting from the appointment of Linda McMahon. Here are a few facts about Linda McMahon, in case you were not aware. She is the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In 2015, Linda formed Women's Leadership Live (WLL). In 2016, Linda McMahon came to Salt Lake City and held a very successful WLL conference, making a commitment to help women in business in the state of Utah. Since that event, WLL has continued a dialog with Joel Smith and Accelerant BSP about small business growth, job creation, and how we support small business using technology. I am very excited to see what Linda McMahon does to help small business over the next 4 years.

Now, what are you going to do? If you are still complaining about the election, you might want to stop and get back to work. You and your competitors are going to be looking at a lot of opportunities in 2017. If you want to be the one to take advantage of those opportunities, then now is the time to find out more about what is going on with small business. In particular, talk to Joel Smith, and learn about what the SBA may be able to do for your business this year.

You will be much better off in 2017 if you are informed. By contrast, if you do not adapt to the impending changes, and you just keep doing business the same way you did in 2016, there is a good chance you are going to be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken over Celebrity Apprentice.

Arnold’s new role gives you one more reason to think about reinventing your own business. Do you think that Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to act the same way that Donald Trump did when he was in charge of The Apprentice? Of course not. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a celebrity in his own right. The show is going to be reinvented in order to take advantage of Arnold Schwarzenegger's own star power. Of course they will probably still leverage the association with Donald Trump. But in order to maximize their success, they will certainly come up with some new elements that are sure to entertain.

I am hoping that when Arnold Schwarzenegger looks at one of the candidates and says, "You’re terminated!" that the candidate looks him in the eye and says, "I'll be back!" You see what I mean? Arnold brings an additional brand value to the show. Even if it is just out of curiosity, millions of people are going to be tuning in just to see what he does.

How does this apply to your business? You need to follow the same formulas that successful celebrities follow. In 2017, you need to reinvent your business. You need to look at your audience or customer base and ask yourself, "In 2017, what is going to capture the attention of my target audience?"

Chances are in 2016 you really did not have it right. There were probably one or two changes you were already thinking about making. But I wonder what would happen if you considered what you would do differently in your own business if Arnold Schwarzenegger was taking over in 2017. Think big. What would Arnold do? Do something bold in 2017 to make your business more successful.

3. Obamacare.

A Republican majority in Congress is predicting the demise of Obamacare. There were things I liked about Obamacare. I know a few million extra people got health insurance. I am glad my kids can stay on my insurance policy until they turn 45 and move out of the house. But there were also some negatives. I have a business with 20 employees that I used to be able to insure for under $25,000 per year. Today the same insurance coverage would cost me over $200,000 per year. I am not a big fan of higher premiums.

What is the future of health insurance in America? Today, I think it is highly uncertain. Based on past performance, I am speculating that no matter what the Republicans do to change our health insurance programs, insurance companies are going to raise insurance rates. That is what they do.

But putting speculation aside, what do looming changes to Obamacare have to do with you and your business? What is the lesson, or the point that I want you to remember? Answer: be prepared for change.

In my business, if health insurance rates went down, I would probably hire several more people. Aside from wages and bonuses, the largest expense to my business every month is the cost of insuring all of my employees. And, like I said, I am really not expecting my costs for health insurance to go down. I am just hoping for a positive change. The uncertainty of the outcome is keeping me from taking any action right now. But at the same time, I am thinking about it. I am thinking about things that might change. I am thinking about how they could affect my business, positively or negatively. I am thinking about what I might do differently. I am ready for 2017.

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There are many definitions of insanity. For some, it was electing Donald Trump. For most, it is doing things the same way and expecting a different result.

Going into 2017, it is a good time to think about doing things differently. The world around us is changing, and if you do not get informed about those changes as soon as possible and start making plans to reinvent yourself to take advantage of new opportunities, then you probably are not going to get a better result in 2017. 2017 is the year for those people who have been waiting for change.

If you want to get on top of more of the changes that are affecting business in Utah, join us here at SLCircle. Look at the Impact Projects that we are coordinating through our new space at Access Salt Lake. We would love to see you become part of these new opportunities.

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