Hit the Ground Running in the New Year


January 13, 2014

Have you hit the ground running in 2014? 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. 


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. This year I had four such postponements. The way Christmas and New Year’s Day fell 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, 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. 


The question to ask is how long is it taking for you to mobilize in the New Year. You need to:

  • Close December
  • Close the Year
  • Begin tax prep
  • Take Inventory
  • Set goals and Objectives
  • Write a plan to achieve the goals and objectives
  • Clean House


If you enter the first week of the year and have not done this yet, you need to document your goals for the year, determine and document the strategies that will achieve those goals, and to document and implement the actions needed for the strategies to be executed. This is your plan.  Also, you must put together a budget for the year. 


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 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 checkpoints; 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 your marketing plan. 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 someone 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 had been completed prior to the holidays – the first of the New Year should be a breeze and you set yourself up to hit the ground running in 2014.