Do you have a plan to grow or a wish to grow? Too often, it is the latter for most businesses! The reason is that the leadership has failed to properly think through what is possible, what is required, and how they will overcome the obstacles. In business you must grow or your company cannot survive. If your business grows and that growth does not turn into cash, you have a bad business model. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, numerous things are always changing, making it more difficult to keep your existing customers happy, get new customers, and increase profits. Many companies want to grow but are simply not ready for the challenges of the New Year.
For starters, do you have a clear set of goals for the next year? Is there substance behind how you derived these goals, or did you just pick numbers based on past performance or some other arbitrary basis? Do you know what it will take to achieve those goals? Do you know which business levers will have the biggest impact on cash flow? Do you have price or volume of cost issues right now? Do you have the right people in the right seats doing the right things? There are so many possible questions that can be asked, but the bottom line is that you need to create a clear picture as to how you will achieve your goals. Start with these questions:
Three months comes and goes pretty fast, and unless you are already 100% on track toward accomplishing something specific, you will find that 25% of the year has passed you by. For starters you need to really think of realistic goals and initiatives that can be achieved within this time-frame. Many times you can only complete parts of a major initiative. It is important to know how far you expect to go by the end of each quarter so that you can hold people accountable. You cannot say you want a whole new sales force when you haven’t even set up the recruiting systems and created the onboarding processes. Start with small steps. Create achievable goals. Then slowly work towards the big goal.
Think of a pyramid. You are the top. The next step down is your leadership team, and next down are your employees. Is your leadership team leading, or are your employees operating on autopilot? Are your employees more capable than your leadership team? Are your employees engaged and motivated? Your leadership team represents you, and if they are not performing at a peak performance, then it is time to move on and replace them. You can never achieve goals if the people you are expecting to perform the tasks required to achieve those goals are not engaged.
Once you have this all in place everything will come together. Wanting more is normal in every company. You will not achieve your goals if you do not have a realistic plan of action and the leadership team that can drive that plan to fruition.
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