‘A pinch and a punch for the first of the month…..’
A new month dawned 6 days ago. March. The beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere. How are you feeling about your business?
Excited because you’re on track with your business plan? Congratulations if you’re in that situation. Keep up the great work.
Or perhaps you’re worried because you aren’t?
If you’re in the latter camp – feeling worried or frustrated that you’re behind where you want and need to be in business right now, then I can relate to that.
The universe conspired against my business in February with constant technology challenges. All this led to constant business interruptions.
So, we’re behind where we should be, with a number of key business goals unachieved as of 29 February. Grrr!!
What happens next?
Back to the business plan
When working with clients and in my own business, we focus on the following five key areas in the business plan:
So what happens next is that we review each goal and action item in the above areas, and we ask the BIG question….
What’s the ONE thing that will make the biggest difference NOW?
For instance, if your revenue is under budget, what’s the one thing that you must do now to drive more revenue to your business?
Is it having a sale or special promotion? Is it launching a new product or service? Is it following up with potential clients in your marketing pipeline?
If revenue is good but profit is lower than budgeted, what is the one thing that you must do now to address that?
Perhaps it’s you or your accountant reviewing your line items and undertaking a ‘common sizing’ exercise with your financials. Perhaps it’s looking at more efficient ways to manage and run your business to reduce overhead. For instance, systemising, automating and perhaps outsourcing some elements of your business.
If cash flow is a major issue for your business (and it is for many businesses), what’s the one thing you must do now to address that? Perhaps it’s reviewing your accounts receivable register and creating a new system for ensuring timely payment. Perhaps it’s changing your terms of business. Perhaps it’s factoring your receivables.
What’s the one thing that will make the biggest difference in your business right now? Work it out and do that!
Get your business back on track and fast!!
Don’t let your business control you. If you don’t take control of the month end results and address the issues, your business will control you and your lifestyle.
Don’t put your head in the sand and hope that things will get better in March. They won’t unless you’re in charge of your business.
Review and evolve your business plan to ensure you achieve the key performance indicators you’ve set for yourself and your business in 2016.
Move projects around to other quarters in the year if they aren’t ‘business critical’ now. I’ve had to do that with a key project I planned to launch in March. It’s now been put back to June to give me time to catch up elsewhere on projects that are more important to me and my business.
Re-double your efforts on the critical elements of your business and you should see the results as the months pass by.
What’s critical in business is the viability of your business. Doing the basics well is key to success in the long term.
Those basics are:
- Having a clear strategy and business plan.
- Having a clear marketing plan that results in prospects coming into your ‘marketing funnel’ so you can communicate with them over time.
- Having an effective sales process that converts prospects into customers.
- Reviewing your financials each month against a budget.
- Having a clear process to recruit, retain, train and engage staff (directly or outsourced) so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Do all that and you will reap the rewards in business.
Question: What is the one thing you’re focused on in your business right now? For me, it’s broadening my marketing so that my business goes global. Please leave a comment. I’d love to read your thoughts.