Sit down and review your current year results with a someone who knows your business well and can give you feedback. Really look at the last twelve months, do you notice any trends? Is there something you wish had gotten done, or something you should stop doing?
Ask your best clients… what will they need next year? It’s easier and less expensive to keep your current clients happy than to acquire new clients. Do they enjoy, need and want everything you do for them? Is something that takes you a lot of time not appreciated? Would they like a different delivery method? A great one to ask – “If it didn’t matter what it would cost, what is the one problem that you would like me to solve?”
What plays into whether you get the sale? What do you do better than anyone else?
What is holding your business back? What should you no longer do? Why do you lose sales?
What is changing out in the world that opens up new markets for you?
Is there another use for your product or service?
Is technology threatening your offering?
Is regulation changing?
What are your competitors doing?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you know enough to set goals.
I know… we have all heard this before, there is a reason for that… it works. Use those answers you received. Decide what you want to change. Break that change down into action steps that you have control over.
If service contracts are an item where I want to improve sales, I can add a target of increasing sales by 20% and as an action step, with each client, I will discuss the benefits of adding a service contract with every machine sale. That is a specific and measurable action.
Put them ON PAPER. Only focus on one important change at a time.
I have had success with using shorter periods and I’m currently using 8 week blocks of time to force focus on my most important actions. Each week, measure your progress and assign yourself a grade for execution. This shorter period gives you more time to focus on one important task and get it integrated into your habits.
MEASURE THEM – use excel and chart out a checklist for each day with the items that you have committed to doing.
SCORE YOURSELF – aim for at least 80%.
For further reading – “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran was very helpful. I can send you a simple excel chart that I have used to track changes – email me at [email protected].
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