Whether I’ve been investing in real estate, creating restaurant quality meals for carryout, or working with hundreds of small/mid-sized company owners, one facet of my success stands out: CHOICE. I have had to choose how I spend my energy and intellect and you have to do the same. Choices abound. It’s the owner that chooses wisely who maximizes owner wealth and owner well-being.
Choose Your Path
Business owners, no matter the company size or industry, must have a destination. Then they have to choose a path that will get them there. There are multiple paths, but they are not equal. Some paths are circuitous, take too long and use too many resources. Some are too short (the ‘quick fix’) and lead to disappointing results. Some are here today, gone tomorrow. Some are tangents disguised as opportunities.
The best way to choose a path is to choose your destination wisely. Unlike advocates of big hairy audacious goals and thinking outside the box, I advocate a series of 60-day goals that you can really get your thinking and actions around. If you achieve every one goal every 60 days, that means you will have achieved 6 goals in one year. That’s dramatic and increases owner wealth and well being.
Choose Your Plan
You get to choose the plan that will lead your company to the next destination. Without a 60 day plan, reaching the destination is hit-or-miss. Most often, it’s miss.
The plan you devise must include activities, resources needed (buyers, employees, materials, IP, and other), time frames and checkpoints.
The work I’ve done recently with an independent jewelry store illustrates this. When I first met her, the owner told me she wants her business to grow “the right way.” By this she meant she would not do what chain/mall jewelry companies do. The reality was that she had not made any active or positive choices.
We agreed to work together. We chose one slice of her business for singular focus. It was to increase sales to bridal parties in the next 60 days by 18% from the same quarter the prior year.
The plan included:
- Days 1-5: identifying relevant public events the owner could attend to spread the word about their bridal party focus, putting them on the owner’s calendar, and gathering marketing collateral to bring with her.
- Days 6-30: Attending these events, no matter what. The owner had to say ‘no’ to other requests for her time in order to effectively implement the plan. She and her marketing team were prepared to improve and produce new marketing collateral based on the interest generated at the early events.
- Days 6-30: Simultaneously with the events, the store’s two employees prepared to contact prospective buyers whom the owner met at the events. The two employees allocated time each day, during which one or the other would be initiating the outreach to prospects. This was a very conscious choice about outreach and relationship building.
- Days 31-60: The owner and her employees would be focused on the bridal parties that showed the most interest, and would set up showcases according to the bridal party’s availability. Although the physical store has fixed hours for walk-ins, they would share after-hour duties for these prospective buyers.
Each week the owner and I reviewed activities from the past 7 days. This owner was so determined to reach her goal that she never missed a milestone, and she made sure her employees didn’t either.
Leverage Your Existing Resources
Every path and plan requires people, energy and materials such as IP, print and speaking. The largest growth in profitable revenue comes when a company leverages or capitalizes on their current resources: current buyers, current offerings and current employees.
Think for a moment about a company—not a behemoth company–you’ve done business with as a customer. And reflect on how much that company has done to invite you to make another purchase. No matter the company, the chances are that that company has done next to nothing to invite you to do more business with them.
You do not want to be like that company. You want to be the one independent company that chooses to stand out for its lavish attention to its current buyers.
You want to be the company that asks its buyers what other value they would like to buy from the company and then makes that available quickly.
You want to be the company that shows every single employee how their work connects to revenue and profit.
These are all choices. You must choose growth.
What path, plan and current resources will you choose to use to generate more profitable revenue in the next 60 days?