Set Goals, Review and Measure Often to Stay on Course
If I were to ask you, “Where do you want to be at the end of next year, in three years or five?” what would you say? Selling $1 million, maybe $2 million? Increasing your profits by 15 percent? Having 10 new clients? Spending more time with your family? Going on that long wanted European vacation? Well, whatever your goal, you must envision it, have a plan, work the plan, and measure the plan in order to stay on course if you ever want to see your goals to fruition.
In a past article, I mentioned how important it is to have a marketing plan in order to achieve your goals. I want to expand on that. Let’s review. I have interviewed multiple distributor companies and have surveyed many, many more. What was interesting was that only 3 percent of the folks surveyed actually had a written marketing plan. So that begs the question, how do you go from where you are to where you want to go unless you have a strategic plan to get you there? And in addition to that, are you reviewing that plan and making adjustments? I have asked several of my clients—who had painstakingly taken the time to create their plan—if they had reviewed it, measured it and made adjustments to it, and, sadly, more than 95 percent had not.
Breaking It Down
There are three key steps to take to ensure your personal gratification and success as you move forward. The thing to understand is that these steps work not only in your professional life but your personal life as well. When you can see this and create that balance for yourself, and, most importantly, hold yourself accountable, then you cannot help but be as successful as you choose to be.
I am a firm believer that when it comes to life, I come first; my wife, children and friends come second; and my job comes last. That may seem a bit self-centered but let me explain. I know that when I am at my best, whole and on my game then everyone below the pyramid benefits, when I’m off my game and I’m not sound, my family, friends and business suffer—they feel that impact. So I set goals, for my health—both physical and fiscal—so I can deliver on time—every day, week and year.
Last year I set a plan in place to be totally out of debt by a certain date and I met that goal. In the past I tried with no plan and never succeeded, but with a plan it was manageable and it worked. For business, I have set similar goals and they too have come to fruition, but only with a plan.
Take time to create a sound plan and have goals, specific goals in place. Create timelines and milestones in order to reach those goals. I would encourage you to consider the following business goals:
- Determine where you want to be at the end of this year, at the end of next year, three years and then five.
- Increase your profit margins by 5 percent every year until you hit 60 percent gross profit.
- Develop a profile on your ideal client.
- Dump the deadwood from your client base.
- Replace those clients with solid clients who are profitable.
- Develop about five solid vertical markets.
- Review your brand (aka what you look like to your clients) and all aspects of your business (social media, Web presence, collateral and marketing).
- Build measurements in all of your marketing in order to gauge success.
Review and Measure Often
Developing a sound plan and then never reviewing it, well, you might as well have not done it in the first place. My suggestion is once your plan is completed, review your plan monthly for the first six months then review quarterly for the rest of the first year.
Adjust to Stay on Course
Just like being on a trip if a bridge is closed or the road is blocked, you need to adjust. Same holds true for your plan. By reviewing and measuring the success of your plan, you can make the needed adjustments to keep yourself on track.
Many folks with whom I have worked have indicated having a coach has helped them to stay on track. The biggest challenge is keeping yourself accountable; this is the hardest of all things to do. It's easy to make excuses and give yourself reasons for why things aren’t getting done. It is the No. 1 reason why people fail.
So here’s an offer. For the first five folks who call or email me, I will give you one hour of free consulting time to get you on the right path. The easy thing is saying I’m going to do it, the hard part is making the call and then following through. This I promise you, whatever you do, if you create a plan that can be measured, then implement that plan and review and adjust where needed, you will achieve your goals. I look forward to your call or email. Now is the time to plot your course!
As always, continued good selling.