Thoughts About Business


Creating Success in 2014

Posted by admin on October 19, 2013

Creating Success in 2014


I’d like to share two quotes to begin this article.

 "The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." - Ben Stein

 “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker (a similar quote was also attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

It’s the 4th quarter of the year and in many major corporations across the country, the planning process for 2014 has already begun.  Large corporations know that having a strong business plan to support a clear cut set of objectives focuses resources and creates a roadmap for success in the coming year.  So they spend a lot of time identifying objectives and creating plans that drive activities to create the outcomes they want.

How about you?  What will your business look like at the end of 2014?  What will you and your business achieve next year?  How will you keep yourself and your business on track?  Too often in business we end up doing what Michael Gerber in the “E-Myth” calls “doing it, doing it, doing it.”  That is, getting so wrapped up in the activities in front of us that we don’t step back and think about where our business is going, or the best way to manage it going forward.  We get stuck in the day to day, and don’t see creative and effective ways to grow our businesses.  We can lose touch with what we originally set out to do.  Our goals can become fuzzy.  Our results disappoint.

Once a year, and I would suggest more often, we need to step back and review what we’ve accomplished and where we fell short, and think about where we’re going next and how we are going to get there.  A good way to start to get your mind about this process is to answer some questions.  Although certainly not an exhaustive list, here are some questions to answer as thought starters. 

  • What were my biggest accomplishments in 2013?
  • Where did I fall short in 2013?
  • What business am I really in? (Hint - what problems do I solve for my customers, clients or patients?)
  • Who is my ideal client? (business or personal - age, income, location, gender, stage in life, event in their life, family status, need, desire, problem, business issue, etc.)
  • What is my revenue goal? (How many sales is that at what average transaction size?)
  • For those who sell products, what is my gross margin % and $ goal?
  • What is my fixed cost budget by item and total? (Rent, payroll, benefits, services, marketing, equipment, supplies, professional services, etc.)
  • For those in sales, what is my commission goal? (How many sales at what average transaction size at what commission %?)
  • What is my income goal after expenses in 2014?
  • Where will my business come from and how much from each source? (Referrals, website, advertising, WOM, walk in, client referrals, etc.)
  • What new markets will I need to develop?
  • What will be my product or service mix?
  • What products or services will I need to develop?
  • What skills or capabilities will I need to develop?
  • Do I have the resources to accomplish all of this?
  • How many people will I need to hire or retain as virtual support? 

Although there is a process to business planning, and there are other questions to ask and tools that would help in the planning process, if you were to sit down and answer these questions, you will be surprised at the clarity and insights you get.  These questions will lead you to further questions.  You will have taken the time to think about what it will take to create the success you want in 2014.  You will know what you want and you will have the tools to create your future.

Please Comment on the Post

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