“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin –
One of the things we like to do here at NE Solutions is to spend some time during December to review our year – we do this for some very good reasons:
- To work out what went well, and
- To discover what didn’t go as planned
We take on board the lessons learnt, so we can:
- Do more of what worked, and
- Amend those things that didn’t go as expected so we can plan and refine the next 12 months.
Of course there will be changes along the way, but like all journeys, if you know what your destination is, detours don’t have to derail you. But enough of the road trip metaphors.
So looking at your year in review, can you tell me what worked, what didn’t work and why?
Now this is going to be hard for some people as it means being brutally honest.
Take the list of things that didn’t work and why you think the main reason for that is, then ask yourself:
Are there any common themes running through the list?
Fred stuffed up – multiple times.
- Did Fred get sufficient training?
- Was Fred supervised – was it Fred who stuffed up?
- Are you asking Fred to do too many things?
Are you blaming outside forces for what happened or does it come down to something very simple?
Did you try something and it just didn’t work?
For example: When you are planning and running marketing campaigns it is always a good idea to do the A / B test. That can be as simple as changing the subject line in a Facebook post for example, or changing the focus.
Stop selling your product and try solving a problem. People usually buy based on an emotional decision. Will this product / service solve my problem?
Now you understand what we mean by trying something and it didn’t work. What can you do differently next time?
There are other questions to ask yourself as you go through your list:
- Did you forget to do something?
- Did you fail to follow up?
- Did you take no for an answer?
- Did you tell yourself that wasn’t going to work so why bother?
- Did you fail to plan? And
- Are you trying to do it all yourself?
Now you have gotten this far with your review it is time to look forward.
- Where is your focus going to be?
- What do you want to achieve?
- What can you do? – You can do the filing, you can answer the phone and book your own calendar appointments, but are you spending all your time on administrative tasks when you could be out getting new clients? Should you use your time doing this task when your energies should be elsewhere? Yes you can do it, but the question should be – should you do it?
- What can’t you do? – Do you want to or need to learn a new skill or is it easier to outsource?
- What don’t you want to do? – This is the one area where there is a good reason to outsource those jobs you hate. But if you are procrastinating because it’s something you really should do, you might need to look at this one in a little more depth. Some people don’t like to network for example. Yes you can send emails and letters of introduction, but sometimes it is just better to get out and meet people. So what you think you’re terrible about talking about yourself – that doesn’t matter for one simple reason – you shouldn’t be talking about your business, you should be asking more important questions “how can I help you get more business?” or “what problems are you facing at the moment?” It may be that you can’t help them directly, but you may know someone who can.
We hope you take the time to review your business year. If you are still struggling to come up with solutions to problems, we can Map the Way forward for you.
From the team at NE Solutions, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year. Let’s make 2016 fabulous.
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