The approach of a new year always provokes reflection, assessment, planning and anticipation. After the rush and excitement of the holidays, it’s a good time to take a breath, clear our heads and take a critical, analytical look at where we are, how we got here and where we’d like to go. It’s important in life, and it can be crucial in business. This month we present two ways to do that, one by Steve Bursten, the other by Kitty Stein. The method you use depends on the type of person you are and the situation in which you find yourself.
Bursten takes a goal-setting path (see page 56). It’s important
to note that October was the best time for this exercise but, as
Bursten knows, you probably were busy then so why not start now?
Bursten does it by the numbers, and anyone who has been successful
in business will tell you, you have to know the numbers—number
of sales calls per month, closing percentage, average sale, total
sales, and on and on. Step-by-step, Bursten follows his Sales Consultant
Goals Planning Form and shows how just a couple more appointments
a month and increasing your average sale can lead to big increases
by yearend. He takes the big picture and breaks it down quarterly,
monthly and weekly so you can track your success. “Once you
try it,” he writes, “you will never go back.”
But Bursten’s business plan for next year assumes we already
know what we want and, let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t.
Stein encourages workrooms to take time to evaluate and plan for
the year ahead (see page 52). If it’s not already a tradition
for you, she advises to start this year. But if don’t have
a clear idea of where you want to go, what then? Rest, is Stein’s
answer. Maybe you are trying too hard. Engage yourself in a hobby
to re-energize. Look around; see what other, unrelated businesses
are doing. Open your mind to ideas and opportunities you’ve
never considered before. Listen and wait. “Waiting is not
easy,” she admits, but it’s “part of the getting
ready process.” Stein’s is an inside-out approach. Pay
attention to your gut feelings, there are clues there as to what
is wrong and how to fix it. Sometimes the answer is unexpected and
makes little sense, but the rewards can be bountiful.
One thing these two paths have in common is that neither will work
unless you take the first step and follow through. Here’s
wishing you a happy and bountiful new year!