If you are like most people you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t believe it’s December already … where did the year go?” If you are like most people you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t believe it’s December already … where did the year go?”
Consider this your yearly reminder to brush off your business plan and look at a document you committed to, but possibly never took the time to review or work to your fullest.
Whether you got caught up “in” the business, “in” the deal or “in” the people issues, you probably haven’t given your business plan a fresh look in ages. This I can promise you: If your business plan had been a working, living and constant part of your daily business, you would be in a better spot today than you were last year, and you would have most likely accomplished more of the goals you set out to achieve. (Having said that, I admit that life in hindsight is easy.)
Here are 10 things you can do this December to have the best next year of your career. Follow all these and you will be on the road to growing your business 10 times or more.
1. Take four hours this month to get offsite and do the following:
a. Review your current year’s business plan and see how you measured up. You need to understand the trends, what worked, what didn’t and what got you in the position you are today.
b. Create a fresh business plan for the upcoming year. Divide it up by department and set your revenue, recruiting and growth plan for 2018.
2. Make sure everything in your business plan is measurable. Have one year measurements, quarterly measurements and monthly measurements — and drill everything down into daily measurements so you know what to do every day to hit and/or exceed your goals.
3. Get all your critical leadership, sales and management meetings in the books. Make them consistent and have an agenda for each meeting. Stay focused.
4. Make sure you have all the right people in all the right seats. If you don’t, this will inhibit your growth. This should be taken very seriously. You can’t grow with the wrong people. If they are the right people, find them the right seats. If they are the wrong people, act compassionately and let them go.
5. Remember this: If you run the business and/or your division, your culture beats to your rhythm. Everything you do and say (and virtually even how you walk) sets the culture of your company. I tell my clients two things all the time and it seems to motivate them to change: “It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate” and “You are only as high as your lowest standards.” What do you allow with your people and standards? This is critical for the growth of your culture. Culture is key and without a healthy culture, your company will not grow to its potential.
6. Read your business plan every morning and every night. Adjust as needed.
7. Always determine your top three leading activities for the day. This is what will grow your business. When you and your team all set your top three, growth will begin to accelerate.
8. Everyone in the business should have their own scorecard. This allows you to measure them and hold them accountable, and it allows them to know what is expected with complete clarity.
9. ABR: Always Be Recruiting. This is essential. You always want to be forecasting and projecting where the business is going. You can’t get to where you want to be with only the people you have now. You may need more support staff, more salespeople, more whomever – so always be on the lookout for them. Recruiting should be proactive, not reactive.
10. Have fun. Laugh with your people. Be firm, but approachable. Always be there to give advice on next steps and help people make a decision. Be there to coach, support and raise up your people. A company that laughs and has fun together will grow and make money together.
If you follow all (or most) of the above, everyone in the company rises to their highest potential. Be the type of person who allows everyone to be and bring their best self to the table. That is what great companies do; they get the most and best out of their people because they have a platform and the proper managers to create this type of positive environment.
I know you have it in you to stop any bad habits that got in your way from hitting your goals. If you did hit all your goals, I know you have the power to keep that momentum going.
The last nugget I want to give you is this: Make sure you protect your time and encourage your team to do the same. Stay focused on the main goals and vision and stay out of the weeds. Get and keep everyone rowing in the same direction. Continue to inspire your people and be open to their ideas on how to grow themselves, the company and you. When you are authentically the best you can be, everyone else will follow.
Have a Blast!