December 08, 2014
Do the years seem to be getting shorter?
As I grow older, this seems to be the case, however I know it is only a mindset. Possibly because I have more balance in my life and I am constantly improving my time management, I know I am taking more time for myself and my family and as a result it impacts the time I devote to business, wealth creation and analyzing results. Yet this translates into a whole lot of things that need to get done by the end of the year, many with hard deadlines.
I wanted to write this last week, however my plate has been so full this week, I chose to delay this blog. The reason my plate is so full is that I, like most of you, have a lot to do between now and December 31st and I took vacation Thanksgiving week. Listed below are some of the priorities on my to-do list for December that are on top of normal day to day operations.
Are you prepared to hit the ground running in 2015? Most small business owners that I have come in contact with say they have, however, I find that many are not telling themselves the truth and are doing it in their head and not documenting the details.
Every year, the first full week of the New Year lends itself to business owners playing catch up, running frantically to get back on top of their business. Every year, I expect several cancelled/postponed appointments because of this “getting back on top” issue. The way Christmas and New Year’s Day fall this year, it was easy for business owners, salespeople, etc. to take advantage of the basically two full weeks of time off/vacation or whatever label you wish to give it.
Some of the running to catch up is due to rightfully enjoying the Holidays with family and friends, ensuring you are generating the revenue you need to begin the year and yes, pay for the Holidays, thinking about getting your books together to get your taxes filed and not fully planning to hit the ground running in the New Year.
As I write this, there are 24 days left in December. During that period we have the opportunity to sit back and relax and just let things happen. Or we can focus on bringing in as much money as possible to close the year strong. Or we can spend profits in an effort to lower our tax burden. Or we could be in retail and know we have to focus on selling, selling, and more selling.
For your business the question to ask is how long is it taking for you to mobilize in 2015. You need to:
If possible, and you are not on top of this, now is the time to document your goals for 2015, determine and document the strategies that will achieve those goals, and to document and implement the actions needed for the strategies to be executed. Also, you must put together a realistic budget for 2015.
When determining your goals you need to do Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats analysis. You must also complete a GAP analysis, determining the gap between where you are and where you want to be in relation to your sales, finances, customers, market share, wallet share, human resources, operations and systems.
Do not forget to look at personal goals. Complete/update your dream/vision board, and/or your bucket list.
When establishing your goals, you need to ask yourself if your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented, and Time Bound). If they do not meet all five, the chances of you achieving what you want are minimal. You must install check points, have someone to help you stay focused on the Goals (coach, consultant, spouse). Track and evaluate key performance indicators that will enable for you to determine if you are on target to achieve your goal.
If it is a sales or profit goal, one of your strategies has to be developing your marketing plan for the year. Have you done the math to ensure that this plan will produce the needed leads, based on your conversion rate, your average transaction, and how often your customers shop with you?
Ask yourself what the consequences to your business are if you fail to achieve those goals. What are the consequences to yourself and your family?
Post your goals, keep them visible, review them at least weekly.
As Yogi Berra once said, “if you do not know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” Set your goals, plan your work, work your plan.
Again, if all of these are completed in the next 24 days, the first of the New Year should be a breeze and you set yourself up to hit the ground running in 2015.