5 Post-Labor Day Steps To Help Your Business Close 2010 StrongSeptember 7th, 2010 | Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Small Business Tips | 2 Comments »
I went to Ohio for Labor Day weekend to visit my family and also be surrounded by Ohio State Buckeye madness (come on you beat Marshall, lets see what happens this week against Miami, Fl!). The 8 hour trip from DC there and then back again today got me thinking that we now only have a little less than four months left in 2010. Wow, this year has passed quickly and I got to thinking about my “to do” list for KikScore. I kept coming back to one thing as we left Ohio and made our way through WV, PA, MD and finally DC – - - I have to get my rear end in gear! So here are my thoughts on how I am going to approach the last four months of the year to help our team at KikScore increase our chances of success. Maybe these steps will help your small business and startup:
1) Revisit 2010 Goals – As the months of 2010 have passed by, we are constantly reminded of what we want to accomplish by the end of the year. Now is the time to look at those 2010 goals again and take a hard look in the mirror. Many things have happened in the last few months which may have switched the focus from one goal to another or to a new objective that popped up mid-year. Now is the time to look at your collective goals and objectives and determine what can be accomplished by focus, planning and executing. We did this back after Memorial Day when we discussed checking our goals at that time! Now is the time to eliminate the items that you will not be able to accomplish and really devote the time, energy and effort to goals and objectives that can be accomplished or substantially progressed by December 31, 2010.
2) Outline Concrete Steps to Execute on Your Plan - For each of the key goals you see a path to accomplishing, make sure you have a plan on how you are going to accomplish these items by the end of the year. Not just a general plan, but outline concrete steps that you can objectively measure your progress on through the coming weeks and months.
3) Get Low Cost Help – So one of the conversation pieces between my wife & I (between trying to soothe 8 month Asha to sleep through the mountains of West Virginia), was how more small businesses and startups should use high school and college interns. We at KikScore have a few interns and they have been a tremendous help. One of them even writes for the blog and her post on identity theft and kids’ social security numbers has a KikScore blog record for most Retweets on Twitter! So when you are looking at your goals and your overall plan to achieve those goals, carve out a few discreet projects that an intern can help you with. That help will free up your time to focus on other key steps in your implementation plan. Some great sites to find interns are your local college career planning websites. You can visit those sites and fill out a job opening for any type of position. We have received applications from students of University of Maryland, Cornell University and American University! Interns can really help give you “more hands” around the business.
4) Talk to Your Customers - As we push to meet our 2010 goals and close the year strong for our business, we are making an effort to talk to our customers so they can give us feedback. Customers can sometimes provide very useful and even unexpected information and insight into what your business should focus on. Also one idea for your small business or startup is to simply ask the question what do your customers need to help them close the year strong. You may even get some information that can help you increase your own sales just by asking your customers what else you can do to help them!
5) Measure Team & Business Progress Daily, Weekly & Monthly - Often we all get buried in the daily slog of activities and endless distractions (even more of a risk with NFL season starting & Fantasy Football!). What results from that is we do not track our progress and then deadlines slip, tasks do not get completed and we end up hearing the ageless excuse – “I am too busy, I don’t have time for that.” For entrepreneurs and especially operators of small businesses and startups, that excuse can destroy your chances of business success. The remedy is accountability. That is accountability to yourself, your team and to the plan that you have developed to complete the goals. We have discussed the importance of accountability previously in this post about keeping your business focused. So every day, at the end of each week and month set aside time to review your task list, the overall plan and where you are at for meeting the objectives/goals. Then make adjustments accordingly to help you execute on your plan.
And always remember the quote of Hal Moore: “There is always one more thing you can do to increase the odds of success.”
Please tell us your thoughts on how you are going to close strong in 2010.