As December wraps up, many of us are scrambling away thinking about what will be different next year. Our Q4 is strong, and we want to continue "full speed ahead" next year, or we are disappointed at ending up short, and needing a boost … a burst of some type.
When planning for next year, I think about three keys for success:
What systems will I keep in place or add into place to track my sales opportunities from start to finish? How can I put a "fail safe" process in — so that nothing and no one slips through the cracks? If I can´t improve what I don´t measure, then what is it that I need to measure for success?
Who are the people I will get to know better next year as potential business alliance partners? These are individuals who do not do what I do. They either call on the same prospect base (in my case, decision maker level within specific industries and specific company characteristics) and they may even offer very complimentary services to my prospect and client base. I know that if I attempt to create one or two of these relationships new each month, that will give me 2-3 dozen new business partners to refer business to, and to receive referrals from, in the next year. Who is on my team?
What programs (products and services) will I offer my client base and prospective new clients that are compelling, that add value, and help them succeed? How easy will I make it for people to do business with me, and how will I know if I am hitting the mark or not? Is there a method for objective feedback?
There are additional areas to focus on — how will I develop professionally, who are my board of directors (formal or informal), and how does my mission relate to my goals and on to my projects and tasks? Many things to think about in the coming year.
So take time to do a thorough review. Get others on your team involved — use a white board to write next year´s goals (not just revenue goals, but activity goals as well. Spend more time on this than the many hours you may have spent planning your last vacation. This is the cornerstone of the building called, 2007. Make sure it has a strong foundation.