Chances are your month is really busy – closing the year, trying to get the last bit of business in, and perhaps clients trying to spend some of their budgets…making sure you year ends with a profit $$$
But if you Neglect these few things …
You might be sorry…Keep Reading: Three Things to Do Before Christmas Hits…
1. Look back over the year – Remind Yourself.
Looking back is important – where did your business come from? Is it repeatable, continuing, or maybe you didn’t really have a strong year – why not? Next week I will spend 3 solid days looking at my year and planning for next. I do this every year!
Some key things to look at:
- Profile your buyers – what does your best client look like? You can’t afford to be generic here – don’t tell me, “Small business owners,” or “Medical Clinics.” Although the second is more specific than the first, I bet your most likely buyer is a certain kind of person, age range, race, political position…I don’t know. I’m not talking about be prejudice here – I am talking about profiling. I’m saying that your solutions, your geography, your price, and your personality, play best with a certain person. I’ll sell to whoever can benefit and afford what I do – but I am marketing to a certain profile.
- Is your business heavily dependent on one client? If so, this is risky…You might have one client by design, and that too is risky – but if you sell into a broader market, make sure you are working on having a balanced portfolio. I’ve seen too many profitable sales people go down when their one client leaves them.
- If the year was great – make sure you know WHY?
- If the year was down – Also ask, WHY?
- Analyze this and figure out what went right or wrong this year.
- Write this stuff down and ponder it…
2. Consider – “How Can I Accelerate Growth in 2014?”
- If you are way over quota – perhaps you are doing well and don’t need growth. If that’s the case, consider optimizing your business to reduce wasted time. FOCUS on efficiency.
- You can keep doing what you’re doing – but I bet there are some things you can do to really grow. Is your marketing working for you? Have you measured your response and conversion rates? Even if you are a sales person working for a company with large marketing department – you might not be getting much out of marketing. If that is the case, get a plan to change this. Marketing is what generates leads and if you’re spending hours cold calling and leaving messages with people who don’t care, you’re wasting a lot of time.
- Think EFFECTIVE – vs. EFFICIENT…what do I mean? Most of the business people I run into are trying to be more efficient at doing things that don’t matter. Fitting in more – waste-of-time meaningless meetings, fitting in more meaningless phone calls, and creating more no-sale proposals…this is all a waste of time. Effective means – spending your time on the things that show a Return on Investment…revenue generating activity.
3. Is Your Family Life Healthy?
- Maybe this should have been listed first – but I put it last so you’ll remember it most…and I might be too late on this…but too many sales people have sacrificed their family life to the point of losing it, just to make another dollar. I’m urging you to make this part of your 2014 plan – to make sure you family relationships are strong.
- If you are married – I have seen more successful business people go down fast after their marriage falls apart. Everything is going strong, and suddenly your spouse announces, “I’m leaving.” or “I don’t love you anymore!” 15 years ago I came so close to this disaster it nearly destroyed me…I’m happy to say that I am one of the few that woke up in time and made a come back. Strong marriages make for a stronger business plan.
- How about your kids? Talk about a distraction – having rebellious teenagers, teenage drug problems, an unexpected pregnancy with your high-schooler – it’s enough to derail anyone’s work life. My kids range from 21 down to 5…(7 kids in total). There’s nothing better than having the entire family on-board, with a common vision, supporting me in the work I do. Make sure your 2014 plan includes building a strong family…a big factor in overall success.
© 2013, David Stelzl