How are things looking for you and your business?

Every morning are you waking up to more and more bad news?

Do you feel most days as if you could just head back under the covers instead of heading into work?

Have you run out of ideas and approaches and hoping at this point for a miracle?

Welcome to the chaotic, unpredictable, uncertain world of doing business today! But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that there’s nothing you can do about it. You can and you will but you must decide today to commit to having your best year yet. Sounds simple enough I know but stick with me.

Napoleon Hill said it best: “No one drifts to success.” If things are really bad for you, if your experiences seem more than you can bear, if you are at the end of your rope – tie a knot and HOLD ON! At least until you finish reading what I have to say.

To be successful you must at this moment decide EXACTLY what you want to achieve and then layout your plan, step by detailed step as to how you intend to reach it.

Take some time right now to visualize what your best business year yet will look like? If you don’t know WHAT you want, how can life give you anything else?

  1. What is it that you would like to accomplish?
  2. Would you like to double your sales? Increase sales by 300%?
  3. What are some things that are frustrating you right now? How would your business look and feel if you were able to eliminate those frustrations?
  4. How have you changed over the last couple of years?
  5. How have your customers changed?
  6. When was the last time you spoke directly to them to determine what pains they are experiencing and whether your solution is still easing those pains for them?
  7. What have you done to improve your situation, let’s say since 2009 when things started to dip? Of those things – what worked and what didn’t?

Let’s take the last question and drill down a little deeper. This question allows you to take ownership, to take responsibility for where you are right now. Complaining about the Government, the economic crisis, the lack of education in the potential employee pool and anything else you could squeeze in there, just makes you right. It will not improve your business performance or put money in the bank. Just remember what you focus on – you get! So the next time you catch yourself complaining ask yourself if this is really something you want!

Assume you’ve been hired to assess your own business. Ask yourself 3 questions:

First – what worked? Examine those things that have been going right, working right, and feeling right. What generated the desired results and did you excel in a particular area?

Second – identify what DIDN’T work. What didn’t play off as you expected even though you were sure going in that it would pay you back in spades? What exactly went wrong? Are there any intentions left unfulfilled?

Third – what could you have done differently?

If I were a betting person, I’d guess that most of your mistakes stemmed from not taking the time to think through your actions, listening to ALL the wrong people and having no overall strategy in place i.e. a carefully defined and detailed plan to achieve your goal.

According to Chet Holmes, author of the Ultimate Sales Machine, there are three types of business owners. A full 90% are tactical, 9% are strategic and only 1% possess the rare combination of possessing both tactical and strategic abilities. Tactical executives think only in terms of making the sale for today. Strategic executives will often look at a situation from a global perspective and see if they can develop some high-level strategy that might help to solve the problem.

You need to think both strategically AND tactically where you can develop the big ideas but also use discipline and determination to see those brilliant strategies implemented at the tactical level.

And finally you need to face the truth and be honest about your numbers. How much are you down by? In the February 2012 issue of Success Magazine in the Win Big Challenge, Sandy Stein, inventor of the Finders Key Purse key chains said “It’s easy in an economic downturn to be lulled into complacency, to assume things will magically improve. My controller started telling me that our numbers were down in mid-2010. I told her not to worry as they would pick back up with the holiday season.”

Although her money chief continued to issue warnings through the year, Stein remained optimistic. Several months later, reality hit: Her business needed help.

“When I actually sat down and looked at what the stores were ordering – little tiny amounts – the stacks of bankruptcy letters that we had received and how little our reps were selling, only THEN did I make the determination that our marketplace had changed, and that it would be necessary to reinvent our business model.”

Don’t get caught not consistently checking and knowing what your numbers are. Don’t rest on your laurels hoping that somehow by some miracle you will coast through the present economy.

Start today, trying to figure out a better way. Look at what you need to continue doing, what you need to adjust, what you definitely must stop doing, and what you need to start doing.

Will you take my challenge and join me in experiencing you best business year yet?

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