Preparing To Perform In 2016
A new calendar year is just around the corner. For the majority of small business owners, that means it is time to examine performance for the year that is past and adjust the vision and action plans for the year ahead.
Success does not happen by accident. If you want to reach your full potential you can't just "wing it." You have to have a clear and concise plan and be ready to take action on the first day of the new year. Anything less and you have missed an opportunity to be all you can be, have all you can have, and accomplish all that is possible for you and your business. Don't worry, it does not have to be complicated. Set aside a little time and simply:
- Review your goals for the year that is closing. Then grade your performance.
- Update your reports and documentation.
- Ask yourself:
- Where did we have the most success? Why?
- Who were the top performers? Why?
- What did people "buy"? What motivated them to do so?
- What were the objections the customers/clients raised? Are changes needed?
- What did we want that we did not get? Why?
- What opportunities did we take advantage of? What did we miss?
- What should be repeated in the year ahead? What will we let go of?
Now, turn your attention to the months ahead. Set aside time to update your plans, or schedule a long appointment with your business coach or a strategic partner and plan together. Invite your key stakeholders to join you, keeping in mind that people will be more invested in any plan that they help create.
Adjust your "vision" for success: What do you want? Be very clear with your intentions. Outline specific and positive facts covering the amount of business you want to create, the income you want to make, the number of clients you want to have, the products and services you will sell, the people you will surround yourself with, growth plans or reorganization intentions, expense reductions, new contracts, markets you want to penetrate, etc. Include every detail. Write it down. Make it a document that can travel with you through the year and mark your calendar to review it monthly.
Adjust your measurements: What targets will you set? Stretch yourself. Remember that a target or measurement is most powerful when it is inspiring. It should be attainable but a little out of your reach. Typical targets or measurements for small business owners include revenue, numbers of clients, percentages of active accounts, ratios of expense to income, staff size, rankings, and your volume of products or services. Use whatever best describes your goals in a measurable way.
Create an action plan: List the actions you plan to take that once completed will have led you to the goals you listed in your vision. Give the actions deadlines and make someone responsible for each of them. Put them on your calendar or in a project plan that you can use as a road map for your success. Make them reasonable. Scheduling every action for the first quarter of the new year is not practical.
Be Prepared: Even the best laid plans can be sabotaged. Here are a few things to consider now before they happen:
- What are the roadblocks to the success of the plan? How can we avoid or prepare for them?
- What objections will there be to buying our products or services? How will we overcome them?
- And, on a personal note, what are my "limiting beliefs"? Where do I lack confidence or have a belief that could keep me from reaching my plan goals? Dispute them!
Know your resources: Finally, mobilize your army. Identify the resources that can help you reach your goals and realize your vision.
- Who is our trusted network of professionals (attorney, accountant, coach, etc.)?
- Who can we count on to market or promote us?
- Where will our referrals come from?
- Who are our strategic partners?
Now take a deep breath and acknowledge that all your possibilities are ahead of you. Be clear that you cannot drive results looking in the rear view mirror. Close the door on all that is passed and focus your attention on all that lies in the months to come. Remember, success in life and business is a journey, not a destination, and be grateful for the opportunities you have yet to realize.
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