It’s almost November and now’s the time to be doing the planning, making the decisions and taking the action that will make 2016 your best year ever. Now is the time to work ‘ON’ the business…not just ‘IN’ it. Here are some important questions, insights and ‘tools’ to help you make 2016 a spectacular success. What will your sales and profit commitments be and what needs fixing, changing or doing to make that happen? Don’t talk about ‘goals, targets, aims and objectives’. These are weak and wishy-washy words that leave you way too much ‘wiggle room’ to not perform. Talk about ‘commitments. Change the language in your business. When you change your language, you change your culture…and your results.

The power of getting specific about your commitments. The more clear and specific you get about your commitments, the better your results will be. Here are 3 examples of what clear and specific commitments look like:

  1. We will increase sales by $800,000 in the next 12 months, while not increasing sales and marketing expenses by more than 4%.
  2. We will reduce operating expense by $50,000, in the next 6 months, without diminishing our customer service or employment experience.
  3. We will improve delivery on ‘rush orders’ by 4 hours, within 3 months, without increasing our shipping expense by more than $12,000 a year.

For each commitment you make, determine what specific activities, actions, changes or initiatives you’ll implement to get you where you commit to be. Then, determine specifically who will do what, by when, measured how and rewarded how, to make that happen. This may sound like a lot of work…but it’s what management is all about. Stop retreating to the familiar, doing the ‘easy day-to-day stuff’ and hoping for better results. Remember, we get what we work for…not what we hope for.

Sit down for a few hours with a few of the best minds and hearts in your business, or department, and work on the following four statements. For number 1, 2 and 3 first write in a % improvement that you commit to and then list your top 5 ideas to make it happen. For each idea or action, state who will do what, by when, measured how?

  1. 5 specific things we’ll do to increase prices or improve our Gross Margin by __% in 2015 are…
  2. 5 specific things we’ll do to increase sales by __% in 2015 are…
  3. 5 specific things we’ll do to reduce expenses by __% in 2015 are…
    – to improve our customer value and experience in 2015 are…
    – to reduce employee frustration & improve engagement in 2015 are…
    – to improve efficiency and profitability in 2015 are…

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