Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and most fail to keep them. How about some resolutions for your business?
MAKE ANY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?
Resolutions are essentially goals, or promises to yourself. They’re a wish list with a time frame. The Long Island newspaper Newsday says the ten most common resolutions are to:
1. Lose weight/Exercise more
2. Quit smoking
3. Eat healthy
4. Learn something new
5. Spend less, save more
6. Drink less alcohol
8. Give back to the community
9. Spend more time with loved ones
WHAT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
These are all useful on a personal level. But what about the resolutions you make for your business? Aren’t there things you’d like to do differently in 2016? Here’s what I suggest: look at your business, one department at a time, to see what needs changing:
Start with your website and make sure your content is the best it can possibly be. So often we turn the SEO reins over to someone else and then fail to add or revamp the content. Does it engage the visitor? What’s the conversion rate of visitors to appointment requests? If it’s 2 percent, how about resolving to double it this year to 4 percent?
I’d also look at social media. Not enough contractors are using social media to generate leads. Of course, there’s always the danger that you can lose hours a day on Facebook. I would schedule 30 minutes a day, after first weighing the appropriateness and usefulness of the different platforms, including not just Facebook but Twitter, Periscope and others.
The third thing I would consider is my marketing matrix. You’ve got a halfdozen tried-and-true sources bringing in most of the leads. But lead sources come and go, and when they go, they sometimes go quickly. Adding a new one takes planning and work. Sit down with relevant staff (marketing person, sales manager, admin) and brainstorm a half-dozen new lead sources. Then test them
every month to see if they work.
One of the resolutions people frequently make, whether at the beginning of the year or not, is to use their time more efficiently. Why not commit to doing that, not just on behalf of yourself but everybody that works in your office? Get the admin staff involved in creating solutions to paperwork overflow, figuring out ways to digitize documents and store them electronically, so that there are fewer visible objects and more control. Organizing systems save everybody’s time and cut down on stress.
Another resolution you might make: Check financial statements regularly. Take 30 minutes a week to look at your financials and see where you’re at with important metrics such as profit and loss statements, cash flow, accounts receivable, accounts payable.
Here’s a third admin resolution: One of the most important functions of admin people in your office is to answer the phone, or make calls, set leads, handle customer complaints. Are these actions scripted? If they are, are the scripts being used? Find out. You could be losing customers at the point of engagement.
Whether you’re a sales person, or a sales manager, or an owner who manages sales set some goals, or re-examine the goals that are in place. What gets measured gets done. If you’re a sales manager, do you know all the metrics of everyone on your team? Have you set some goals for yourself? Do you know where you want your sales (or revenue) to be, in relation to last year? Take the
time to measure performance, drill down and find out what people are actually doing so that you can hold them accountable to their goals.
Here’s another goal: Run a few appointments with salespeople every month. That way you’ll get a clearer idea of what they’re facing, and you can see what’s happening in the field. Training and Education: It’s always a good feeling to know you’ve ramped up your skills, or become more knowledgeable; to know that you’re getting better. You do that by going to boot camps and conferences, taking a class at a local community college or just by reading a book. Encourage employees to do the same, i.e., learn. Take them to conferences or send them to boot camps. The success of a business depends on everybody’s intelligence. If you’re not expanding that, sooner or later you have a problem.
IT COMES DOWN TO YOU
Of course when it comes to resolutions, the most important thing is to take care of ourselves. If you’re not healthy, your business will suffer. Taking care of our health is all about eating right, exercising, getting enough rest. But it also means getting some time away from your business so that you can work on yourself. In surveys most people who make New Year’s resolutions admit they eventually fail to keep them. You can do better than that with the resolutions you make, by holding everybody in your business, including yourself, accountable for accomplishing the goals you set.