How Can I Finish Strong?

It’s the end of the year and often times what comes to mind is, “how can I finish strong,” but what we’re really asking is, “how can I build momentum to start next year off right.  There are a few simple and easy things you can do to accomplish both items.

How Can I Finish Strong:

Make sure every Employee is Aligned on their Job Functions

One common mistake I see business owners make is assuming that employees know the highest priority actions to achieve results for the organization. Take the time now to refine the job descriptions for your direct reports by including the key activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that predictably achieve success. You will likely be amazed by what you were assuming they were doing versus what they actually are.

Get Rid of Underperforming Employees

It’s time to stop tolerating your underperforming employees. The C players are costing you a tremendous amount of lost business. Most business owners tolerate underperformance far too long. During the holiday season it’s hard to swallow this challenging pill, because no one wants to let go of someone during the holiday season. What I suggest is not letting anyone go during the holiday season if you can.  Instead use the job descriptions above, show all your employees the performance standards necessary for success. Give your underperforming employees time to achieve the results you demand of them, also flex your coaching muscle by developing them to be what you want them to be.  For those who cannot or will not perform at this level I suggest addressing this after adequate time has been afforded them to improve or meet satisfactory standards.

Calculate the Return on Investment of all of your Marketing

Diligently track the source of leads for all of your sales. Make note of the marketing channels that are producing predictable sales. Calculate the ROI for each marketing channel by calculating the gross profit of items sold through each lead source subtracted by the marketing investment needed to generate those leads. Taking this difference divided by the same marketing investment for that channel will show you the return on investment. Inevitably, a very large portion of your marketing budget (can be as great as 80 percent) does not generate leads and is therefore a money-loser. Stop these unproductive actions and redeployed this money on marketing actions that are ROI positive.

Final Thought

Being self-aware will help you to finish this year strong and start the new year of right…

It’s imperative that we constantly reevaluate our process to maximize our results.  It’s easy to evaluate the effectiveness of a situation when it’s going bad, but being self-aware in a good situation will help us prevent 2014 from being a year that doesn’t meet our expectations.

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