(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    Many things in business and life are outside of our control.  But two key things that we are in total control of are our attitude and our effort!”
    …Donald Cooper
  2. Get your spacing right. I’m not talking about ‘social distancing’ here.  I’m taking about the effective spacing within and between paragraphs on websites and any written material you produce.
    So that the eye knows what text belongs to what title, here’s the rule that must be followed…and almost never is. ‘The space between items or paragraphs must always be greater than the space within an item or paragraph.’   
    When you follow this rule, you divide text into clearly identifiable ‘chunks’ that the eye and brain can easily figure out. 
  3. Some powerful thinking about retaining top talent. A very smart associate of mine in Sydney, Australia is offering a free internet-based Masterclass on, ‘Retaining Top Talent …9 strategies to avoid the Great Resignation!’  As we all know, this is an urgent problem in most businesses.
    This important event is  being offered on October 28th, 8 AM, Sydney, Australia time, which is October 27th, 5 PM, Eastern Daylight time.  From that info you should be able to calculate the correct time in your part of the world.
    For more info and/or to register, click here.
    Note:  I’m not on commission here.  There’s nothing in this for me.  I simply think it could be a good use of your time.


Now, to this week’s important topic:

 Now is the time to be planning for an extraordinary 2022:

(Time to read this important article is about 2 minutes)

It’s October and now’s the time to be doing the planning, making the decisions and taking the action that will make 2022 your best year ever.  Now’s the time to work ‘ON’ the business…not just ‘IN’ it.  Here are some insights and ‘tools’ to help you make 2022 your best year ever.

First thought:  Your focus should be in two separate areas:

  1. Fixing what needs fixing.
  2. Embracing new opportunities for growth and profitability.

Second thought:  When you and your team are planning for next year, don’t talk about ‘goals, targets, aims and objectives’.  These are weak and wishy-washy words that leave way too much ‘wiggle room’ to not perform. Talk about ‘commitment’s. Change the language in your business.  When we change our language, we change our culture…and our results. 

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 and what resources you’ll need to get it done, on time.  Then, determine specifically who will do what, by when, at what cost, with what result, 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.

Third thought: The best way to start this important process is to get real about which areas of your business or department need work.  You can’t get to where you need to be if you’re unclear about where you are now. 

An effective and quick way to determine where you are now is to download and use my 1-page Business Key Challenge Audit Sheet that takes just 4 minutes to complete.  It comes with complete instructions.  To download it, just click here. There is no charge.

Action to take:   Sit down for a few hours with a few of the best minds and hearts in your business, or department and answer the following 10 questions: 

  1. What extraordinary bottom-line profit do we commit to deliver in 2022? Our profit is something we commit to and plan for…not something that we just hope for.
  2. What’s our sales commitment for next year that’s required to deliver our profit commitment. What are the 3 or 4 (or more) most important things we need to do to achieve that 2022 sales commitment?
  3. What are 3 things that we do that confuse or tick off our customers…and what will we commit to do to fix them so wonderfully that they actually become part of our competitive advantage?
  4. What are the 3 most important new systems, processes or technologies that we need to bring into the business in 2022?
  5. What are 3 or 4 important value, marketing or operational things that any of your competitors do better than we and how will we improve and be the competitive leader in 2022?
  6. What are the 5 biggest expense items on which we can save some money or improve operational efficiency in 2022…and, specifically, how will we do that?
  7. What are 4 things we can do to become ‘greener’ in 2022…and beyond?
  8. What are 3 or 4 things we can do to improve internal communication and improve clarity about our commitments to customers, to each other and to our bottom line?
  9. What improvements in marketing, promotion and advertising will we commit to in 2022 to tell our story more effectively? There’s no point being the best if we’re also the best kept secret. How will we create more customer intimacy, be more responsive to and interactive with customers and prospects? How can we use social media more effectively to achieve this? 
  10. We can’t grow the business without growing our people and your team. What new talent, skills or experience must be added to our team to compete successfully in 2022 and beyond?   What training, development or mentoring does each person on our team need to help them grow?   How do I commit to grow as a leader and manager to be more effective in 2022?

Note:  Add a few of your own key questions to the 10 listed above in order to get on the right track to make 2022 your best year ever.  Ask each employee to come up with at least one idea to grow or improve the business next year.  Give them a week to come up with their ideas and then schedule an ‘Idea Fest’.   You’ll be amazed at what they come up with.

Bonus Tip:  During the ‘Idea Fest’, no evaluation or criticism of ideas presented is allowed.  That kills participation. 

For even more help in proactively planning for 2022 and beyond, our transformational 34-page Vision Critical Guide provides the insights, tools and templates to create clarity about the future of your business.  This transformational ‘Guide’ is available as a PDF download for just $24.  Click here.

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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