Welcome to September! While it does have that “fresh start” feeling, it’s important to recognize that, for most of us (depending on your work week and upcoming vacation days), there are approximately 77 days until year-end.
January has that “I have a whole year” feeling; September is “crunch time”. You want to make the most of it and create a plan you can execute to reach your financial goals. Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to involve hours of your time.
What are the steps to creating an achievable plan quickly?
First, you need to know how many sales must be completed in order to reach your revenue goal. Here’s the number-crunching information and how to use them to set yourself up for success: http://thephonelady.com/what-will-you-do-with-your-100-days/
Once you know how many sales you need to close, and how many prospects you’ll need to speak with, it’s time to sit down and be 100% honest with yourself. You can do this quietly on your own, or ask a trusted colleague or coach to join you. Their support and insights can help you “keep it real”.
Here are the questions you want to answer to maximize the next 77 days:
- Is my financial goal still achievable? If it is, congratulations. If it’s not, this is not the time to beat yourself up and get stuck in guilt, regret or anger. Goals created in the optimism of January can be unrealistic or may be impacted by unanticipated business or personal challenges. In order to maximize the time that’s left, change your goal. Congratulate yourself for being honest and stay energized.
- What are the exact steps necessary to reach the current goal? There’s a lot of information out there about not creating a lengthy to-do list. Fair enough. But without a master list of what needs to be done in the next 77 days … you won’t make it happen. Use whatever works for you – a spreadsheet, a notebook, a Word document. Don’t limit the list; you can revise as you move forward.
- What are the deadlines? While you have 77 days, you can’t leave everything until the last minute. If part of reaching your financial goal is speaking with your prospects and, on average, a prospect becomes a client in 40 days, you need to load your first 40 days with tons of prospecting. Map this out – on a whiteboard, calendar, large piece of paper – showing the activities that need to happen each month and week.
- Are your deadlines realistic? Answering this question is difficult and having a trusted colleague or coach provide feedback is ideal. (My business coach has to constantly remind me that I always underestimate the time needed to complete long-term projects.) Your map of deadlines needs to include some flexible time – for projects that take longer than planned, for snow days, for relaxation … for the unexpected.
- Do you need help? For some, this can be a very difficult question to answer. Perhaps you like to control everything. Or you worry about spending money on additional contractors or staff. Or maybe you think it’s a sign of failure to tell your manager you need help. Get over it! Great team players let their managers know when help is needed and successful business owners recognize when they can’t go it alone. Money spent on support helps you stay strong, energized and able to reach – or exceed – your goals.
- What kind of help do you need? This could be anything at all. From making sales calls or maintaining marketing efforts, to housekeeping or meal preparation at home. Again, be honest about how you can best use your skills, time and energy to reach your goals. Then start to delegate the rest.
- Should you make changes to your existing team? Executive chefs know how to do this quickly. When every restaurant table is full and the person in charge of appetizers can’t keep up … a switch is made. Look at your team. Can someone be more effective in a different role? Are you using everyone to their full potential?
Answering these questions during the first week of September will set you up for well-deserved success by December 20th. And reaching your goal will energize you for … 2020!
What questions would you add to this list? Please share them in the comment section below.