CRxP! Why Didn’t I do this in October?
Like most business owners, I recognize there can be a delay between taking action and seeing the results. This applies to everything – the sales cycle, marketing, and even booking speaking engagements. Once in a while something happens right on the spot, but it’s rare. As a business consultant who is a productivity expert, let me openly share what didn’t work for me these past few weeks so you can avoid this in your own business. It was definitely NOT productive.
I wrote a post in late November about how coasting (ie: being less focused) the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years wastes up to11% of the business year. It was great insight, but I now realize that the post was incomplete. I omitted a key impact of coasting – lost momentum.
By taking your foot off the gas pedal, you most likely will experience a late start and delayed results in January. Getting back into the routine to build up to a previous speed can take another 3-4 weeks. As a result, almost 20% of the year is gone instead of the 11% I originally estimated. To me, that was a serious wake up call.
I took some time off at Christmas to ski, but I spent most of December focusing on my business. I worked on becoming even more intentional with the metrics I use to run my company. I already track the typical business metrics – sales conversions, cash flow, etc. But those metrics weren’t enough anymore. I needed to be more detailed as I scale my business to the next level.
Besides metrics, I also realized the value of creating very strategic partnerships in 2016. I found that partners are the best way to 10X my sales without 10Xing my marketing spend. I talk all about partnering in my upcoming boot camp on Sales and Marketing – how you pick them, who really works for you and who doesn’t, the reward structure, and more. This is a huge area where people are missing hidden opportunities and leaving big money on the table. (CHECK OUT THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS BOOT CAMP DETAILS HERE).
Using partners and metrics, I created my extensive Q1 business plan on January 1 while my husband watched the bowl games. Here are some of my plan components. Feel free to R and D (replicate and duplicate) whatever you like for your own company. 🙂
- Speak to organizations of at least 200 people per month (could be four groups of 50, one group of 200, or any other combination)
- Meet with 8 potential referral partners to find at least 2 highly qualified business owners willing to actively exchange referrals.
- Host 1 live educational event/workshop each month for business owners
- Meet with 8 potential clients I met last year to deepen relationships
On January 2, I immediately went to work on the logistics to schedule my meetings, workshops, and speaking since I was so excited to implement my plan. Some things worked, others not so much.
Speaking: I had momentum with speaking since I locked in two speaking groups last fall. However, I still needed at least 2-3 more speaking engagements this month to be in front of 200 people as planned. As I made calls, I realized I was way too late. Most meeting planners already had the first six months of speakers on their calendars. Once I thought about that, it totally made sense since they need to publish their schedules. I expanded my search for groups that weren’t as organized, but fell short. Lesson learned – landing speaking engagement was a task for last October and probably even summer.
Partner Meetings: I did well on the partner meetings. I found eight people interesting in learning more about partnering with me and we are meeting later this month. Everyone I talked to seemed super excited, so that goal gets a gold star.
Workshops: The workshops for January bombed. I couldn’t find a meeting room at any of the five locations I tried. I was limited to hosting the workshop on a certain date and rooms were already booked. This meant I had to delay my 3-part Ultimate Business Boot Camp workshop kickoff until February. Ugh – already a month behind on that goal. As a fall back plan, I scheduled a teleseminar in January to keep the momentum but I really wanted a live event to serve people this month.
Client Meetings: Fell short on this one, too. Only met with 2 people due to availability, so need to schedule meetings much sooner next month.
Bottom line, I learned that it’s absolutely critical to plan months ahead if I want consistent success. I now plan at least 3-6 months in advance to keep the momentum in place. Making up for lost time requires a lot more work. It’s like skipping a few months of 401K contributions and then having to give extra money just to get back on track. It’s so much easier to be steady all along.
How far in advance do you plan? Leave a comment to share what works for you.
BREAKING NEWS! Kindle approved and released my book: Gain the Advantage! How to Use HARO to get Free Publicity. I wrote a Linkedin blog on Help a Reporter and it was my second most popular posts (even beat out the post on meeting John Elway). Read the blog HERE.