In July I asked if you had checked the calendar yet just to be aware that the business year was half over. If, in fact, you didn’t heed my request and you haven’t checked the calendar lately it’s September and we’re moving into the fourth quarter of the year at a fast and furious pace. The economy is still dicey, the forecast is continuing to get very grim for some business people; others are just surviving, while others are enjoying the best year ever!
The major question then still is in the understanding of which category you are in? Have you been honest with yourself in your evaluation, or did you just stick your head deeper in the sand?
In my business coaching practice it is essential for my clients and I to base the tracking of our success together on the clients’ definition of success. Some have a goal to be more profitable. Some have a goal to take a nice family vacation. Others have a goal to get better business results while spending less time trying to get there. The point is we must have a very focused set of clear goals that we’re working toward and tracking. Now is always a good time to start. Don’t wait any longer. You can’t afford to delay. Your awareness of what is happening with you and your business right now, at this moment will be the key to having a successful fourth quarter and beginning the new year with a strong perspective.
I use a set of simple rules that applies to all clients no matter what business they’re in. I call it my “Business Playbook”. Just like a successful football coach has a playbook that houses all strategies and tactics to help them achieve a winning season, we use a “Business Playbook”. Going into the second half of the business year is like going into the second half of a big game. And just like the coaches in a big game I try to prepare my clients for the ultra important second half of the year.
In July we discussed a few of the prime sections from this playbook. We called it the “Second Half Playbook Check List”. Today we’ll call it the CRUNCH TIME Check List; Part 1.
To get started I ask my business coaching clients to set aside three hours or so; slow down; take a deep breath and ask yourself, “How have I done so far this year, really?”
- a) What do I need to do to finish the year strong?
- b) What changes need to be made as soon as possible?
So here is the basic checklist that I ask everyone to evaluate their selves on. Some of these things will take some work. The key is to be honest and if it applies, accept it and get to work. Here we go;
#1. Do you know exactly where you’re at against your goals? If you don’t yet have goals, there’s still time… This is absolutely key.
#2. Take ego out of the picture. What mistakes were made? How will they not happen again?
#3. Very specifically do you understand what changes and adjustments need to be made? Once we know then we make them! Don’t form a committee; don’t beat anyone up…understand the issues then create a solution(s) then…..Move forward. A new year is on the doorstep.
#4. As an accountability check, were you honest with yourself in working on #3? Make the hard changes now and don’t delay. Every minute in delay means lost income & opportunity.
#5. Begin to start forming ideas for the coming New Year by thinking about the New Year. Begin to lay your strategy to implement next January and honesty about what’s happened so far is essential to laying a clear and powerful plan.
#6. If necessary find a new level of belief in yourself. If you’re a bit down, if you’ve let things get to you, now is the time for a real personal and private gut check. No matter the odds or naysayers you must believe in you! If you don’t believe in you how can you expect family; customers; employees; bankers or investors to believe in you? Remember, someone is always watching.
#7. It may sound trite but are you staying positive minded? Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t, give yourself reasons why you can! As the great Zig Zigler once said, “Stop your stinkin’ thinkin’ and give yourself a check-up from the neck-up!
#8. Be sure now more than ever, that you ARE doing the most important things you should be doing every day to achieve your goals! Make a new commitment to time management. Don’t waste a minute of time and never let the least important things take precedent over the most important things. If necessary make a new commitment to Time Management and Task Prioritization mastery.
#9. Understand that sometimes being a great leader means having the nerve to say the word NO! Don’t get so busy that you just rubber stamp every issue, need, problem or challenge. If you need a little time to make a better decision, take it. Say no and instantly control the noise!
#10. Are we sure that you strive to treat each day like your first day in business and are you always focusing on results? Do we continually watch expenses and do we make every dollar count?
#11. Are we living by the rule of never wasting a dime on marketing? Do all the marketing that you can afford to do but do it smart. A few simple rules to follow include tracking to see if your marketing is or isn’t working and you if you know it isn’t working, stop doing it. Save the budget for other opportunities. Another is to be careful not to waste dollars jumping on the bandwagon of the latest social media fad. Check it out and be sure it fits and reaches your target market.
#12: Are you sure that you are flexible enough with your strategic plan? The rule is: If you continue to do business the way you’ve always done business then you WILL be out of business!
#13 Ask yourself, “Am I as disciplined as I need to be?” The rule that applies here is defined by the pure definition of the word DISCIPLINE: Doing what you have to do..When you have to do it…whether you want to or not!
#14. Ask yourself, “Am I putting in the time necessary to get the job done?”
#15. Are you still passionate about what you’re doing…if not you must stop doing what you’re doing and get out of the way…for your own good and those around you. If necessary, make the changes now and start the New Year fresh.
This is just part of the CRUNCH TIME Check List; Part 1. More of the checklist will follow but I hope you do get the picture. Time IS running out but you can make it a great year, maybe the best ever if you are diligent about continuous improvement. Yes these checklist items are basic, but I challenge you to honestly answer each question. It’s hard but necessary to the point that it could mean your complete success or failure, your surviving or thriving this year and be a major step in the position that you have the power to put yourself in entering the new year! Good Luck!
This task can sometimes be challenging, but if you need some help, I’m here! This is what I do and together we can make it happen for you and your business life. I’m open for business so call or write today and let’s get together!