Monday, September 1, 2014

After Labor Day - A Race to the Finish

Labor Day always strikes me like the bell going off as the runners reach the last lap on their way to the finish line. Two-thirds of the year are over. One-Third remains. Time enough to make real progress, but focus is the key to getting the most out of these last four months of the year.
So, what should you do? Here are four (4) suggestions to help you get the most out of your effort before the year has slipped away:

1) Invest in new promotional efforts. Your customers are facing the same year-end assessment and now is the time to remind them of the value of your products and services. An intentional sales and marketing push at this point could generate year-end business and set your organization up for a profitable New Year. Generate a list of existing customers who could be buying more from you. Can you put together a trial program for them? Perhaps it is time to follow up on customers who have taken their business elsewhere. Are they satisfied with their new supplier? Can you entice them back with an added value program? In addition, many companies are looking at spending year-end money or have begun their budgeting process for next year. The time to get in front of these customers is now!

2) Investigate New Technology. While technology won't fix a broken process, often the evaluation and subsequent implementation of new technology can be a catalyst to refining and repairing processes. These efforts will pay dividends long into the future and now is the time to begin looking at how you can improve your organization's effectiveness and productivity. What processes need better aligned? What 80/20 activities should be part of your going-forward strategy? Can you implement technology to deliver a better product or service for your customers?

3) Work on your Team Culture. Is your team firing on all cylinders? Do individual objectives align with the organization? Is there conflict? How well is your team communicating? Collaborating? Sharing? At the end of the day, the individuals in your team are responsible for the culture of your organization. Does your team execute well? Do they plan well? Do they communicate well? So they support one another? At Industrial Solutions, we are spending the next few months helping business leaders and organizations focus on Building Better Teams @ Work. This exercise could be a critical factor for your future.

4) Embrace the Strategic Planning Process. If you aren't already working on your next strategic plan, you should be. Now is the time to get serious about looking at your future. Have you completed your internal and external analysis/assessment? Establishing key objectives for the next phase of your business is critical to your success. Identify the critical factors that impact your business. Assess the 5 key drivers that contribute to Healthy Organizations. Many business owners tend to have a general idea about what they want to accomplish, but haven’t take the time to write-it-down, set goals, or share these goals with others. You should do all three!! There is great power in writing down your goals and verbally sharing these with your team, your partners, your family.

December 31st is just a few months away!My Suggestion: Pick at least one of these to work on and follow through. On December 31st when you look back on the year, the steps you take now could be the most powerful ones you take this year. Make the most of your time!