Archive for January, 2016

Take Control of Your Business

Friday, January 8th, 2016

by Ginny Speaks

As one year ends and another begins, I ask you this question. Are you in control of your business or is your business controlling you?

Now is a great time to ask this question and evaluate the past year and begin to put into motion ways to control your business as we begin 2016. It is simply making the decision to do it and then following through. Carve out time this week or next and look at last year’s successes and failures and then evaluate. What did you do well and what needs to be improved? To jump start this process, take a look at the following questions.

How much money do I want to make this year?

Yes, you can determine your income and put into practice ways to make sure you hit that goal. Yes, you heard me. It is simply looking at numbers and doing some math.First, determine your average sale and closing ratio. Then do the math. How many closes do you need based on your average sale to hit your number? Once you establish this number, then use your closing ratio to determine the amount of pitches you need to make between now and the end of the year. At the end of each quarter, do the math and see how you are pacing. If you are on track, give yourself a big high five! If not, follow the same formula, do the math and then adjust accordingly.

What was my biggest success?

This could be many things. Did I stick to my calling schedule each week? Did I close business in a new category? Did I increase my average sale? Did I close a fully integrated package that included social media? Really delve into this question and determine how you can emulate this success into 2016. For instance, if you closed a deal in a new category, make a list of other leads or competitors in this category and become an expert in capturing business in this area.

What was my biggest failure?

Failures are great because that means you are pushing the envelope and we usually learn most from these experiences.   Did you talk past the sale? Did you spend too much time talking to non-decision makers? Do you conduct full needs analysis to determine solutions or are you still pitching packages? Are you really listening to client’s needs? Are you prospecting 3 to 6 months out?

Am I calling on the right decision makers?

Take a look at the decision makers you have been calling on and ask yourself if you are working with Regional Sales Managers, Regional Marketing Managers, Customer Marketing Managers or Field Marketing Managers, just to name a few. If you are, you are probing and working the account deep and in the right area to capture non-traditional dollars. If you find that you are still working mainly with buyers or agencies, you are missing out on pockets of money that are available to you.   Do not forget to work the brand and sales side of each business as these areas are growing exponentially.

Do you invest in yourself?

If you do, amp it up a notch this year and if not, now is the time to start. Take a class on public speaking to improve communication skills. Join a business network to expose yourself to new businesses and people. Make a list of the hottest business books and read them. Learn a new category and become an expert. Join an online discussion group and get involved. Shadow a business leader for the day or a peer.

Once you complete this exercise, focus on 3 things you learned that you can begin implementing tomorrow. Success is a matter of choice and we all have the power within us to make a difference each and every day. I encourage you to shift your outlook from having a job to taking ownership of your business; take control of your business and watch it grow.

Here’s to a happy New Year and abundant success in 2016!