At the beginning of the year, we spend time dreaming, planning and goal setting for the coming year. If you’ve worked with me, you know that involves completely mapping out each of those goals and what it’s going to take to get you where you want to go. You also know that we follow that up with assigning deadlines spread throughout the year in daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly increments.
It may sound like a lot of work at the outset, but it’s instrumental to the overall health of your business. It ensures that you always have a complete roadmap to refer back to and keep you on track as you go along your way balancing these goals with the demands in all the other areas of your life.
But even with all the planning and road mapping in the world, we all know that life can still creep up. New opportunities can present themselves that, while beneficial at the time, take you a smidge off course from your goals for this year. Detours may need to be called as an unexpected roadblock jumps into your path. These things happen!
And, knowing that these things happen, I encourage all of my clients to book a check-in with themselves and their business at the six-month road marker. By getting this session into your calendar in January, you are making a commitment to your business to check-in on your progress and make sure that the goals you’ve set happen.
So what do you do in this session? How do you go about completing this check-in? Here are the three steps I suggest:
Check-in and assess where you are
The big question to answer here is: Where are you in relation to your plans for the year? How far have you come, or strayed, from the goals you set out to achieve in January?
- Sales are the lifeline of our business: Are you at least 50% of the way towards your revenue targets? If you aren’t, do you some solid sales initiatives in place to get you there? Are there any natural busy sales season for your industry that you are planning on capitalizing on? Without sales, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby, which is why this is a MUST area to check-in on during your session.
- Spending time planning and taking on goals that will level up your business is critical to its growth and ongoing success: Where do you stand on these goals? Was this the year you were going to create an online course? How is that coming along? Maybe you wanted to implement systems to help you streamline the administrative side of your business. By this point in time, you should be ready to begin executing the system you’ve designed. Have you started testing it out?
Evaluate your efforts so far
This step is all about answering the questions: What have you been spending your time doing? What’s worked? What has fallen flat? What do you need to do more of? Is there anything that needs to stop?
- You can network every day of the week: Have you met the right people in your travels? Are you networking in places and at events where your ideal client are? If you are, then you should have a healthy sales pipeline that is full of prospective customers, right?
- Before people will buy from you, you have to effectively market your business so they know about you: Take a look at your completed sales and your pipeline of prospects. Have you attracted your ideal clients? Are you marketing yourself where they are? Is your sales copy speaking their language? Have you chosen graphics that are visually attractive to them?
- The fortune is in the follow-up: How are you following up with your prospective customers? After you meet them and they show an interest in your products/services, what is your next move? How are you moving the conversation along to the ‘Ask for the Sale’ point?
Plan for the rest of the year
Once you know where you’ve been, it’s time to make some hard choices. What do you have to do to get you to your goals for the year? Is there something you need to do more of? How about things you need to do less of? Some of the answers may push you outside of your comfort zone, and maybe that’s why you’ve been reluctant to ask these questions. But the hard truth is that by not asking, it’s likely you’ve been holding both you and your business back.
Take the answers to these questions and start outlining what your next steps need to be. What things need to happen to get you where you said you wanted to go back in January? Break those tasks down, map out the steps to complete them, and assign deadlines in daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly increments. If you’re looking for guidance on how I do this in my own business and with my clients, access our free resources to get access to my PLAN to GROW process.
And, most importantly, do these two things: Put a system in place that works for you to consistently TRACK YOUR EFFORTS, and book time in your calendar to FREQUENTLY CHECK-IN on your progress.
REMEMBER: You can’t change what you don’t know about or lose sight of. That’s why we track. And, as Fempire Builders contributor, Jen Wende says, “What you track you can change.”