Time is Running Out
There are about 100 days left this year — what will you accomplish?
2014 is coming to a close. You have about 100 days left to generate revenue, generate profit, and achieve the goals you said that you wanted to reach when 2014 started.
So, what are you going to do in the last 100 days of the year?
This summer one of my clients issued a challenge to all of his employees. They had never achieved a certain sales volume in July and August. They set the goal for the two months. If the company achieved the goal in July or August, every employee got $500. If they hit the revenue goal for both months each employee got $1,200.
As I am writing this, they have achieved the July goal and are on track to reach the August goal. Ideas came from everywhere. They were implemented. Employees worked more productively than ever before.
The owners were pleasantly surprised. They told me most employees had already spent their bonus in their mind. The employees told the owners what they were going to use the bonus money for.
You may be thinking, “Sales are great but what about profits?” or remind me of my favorite saying, “Volume is vanity and profits are sanity.” Before we offered the bonus, we made sure the pricing was accurate and the company could still make a substantial profit even when the bonuses were distributed.
With another client, we set up a goal for their company-wide referral program. All office and field personnel now have business cards. They can give the cards out to their friends, relatives, colleagues and others. On the back of their cards is a referral statement: Refer your friends and colleagues to us and earn up to $50. For most of the office personnel, this was the first time they had the opportunity to get involved with a bonus program.
The tips below will help you accomplish great things in the last 100 days of 2014.
Set goals. Most of us think about what we want to do and never write down what we want to accomplish. However, if you don’t write it down you are likely to forget it, likely not to do it, won’t have any way of tracking your progress, or know whether you achieved what you wanted to achieve.
Think about these questions and write down your answers. Get input from all of your employees. Here are some questions to ask them (you can add others based on your goals): How many service calls do you want to make? How many maintenance agreements do you think are reasonable in the last 100 days? What type of home comfort enhancing products can we offer our clients? How do we increase our referrals?
Your employees are on the front lines dealing with the clients every day — ask them for their suggestions. They’ll have some ideas since clients often ask “do you have…?” or want a problem solved that your company may not be able to do at the present time.
Establish the goals and rewards based on input from employees and your personal desires.
Establish the action plan to reach the goals. Employees have great ideas. Try implementing some of them. It might require training. It might require a unique postcard or direct mail piece. It should involve service agreement goals.
Track your progress. Is there training required because you are selling a new product? Who has to be trained? When? What happened when you started selling the product? What kind of results did you get?
Someone in your company has to be responsible for keeping track of how you are doing and reporting back. You need to know if you are on target, behind or ahead. If you are behind, get ideas from your employees as to how to make up the loss. They will probably have some good ideas to try.
Celebrate the victory. The company and your employees did something significant in the last 100 days of the year. Use this momentum to get a great start on 2015 marketing plans and goals.
And as a final reminder: carbon monoxide awareness and education is appropriate in some areas. Stress the need for carbon monoxide checks and make sure that your technicians know how to do them properly. This is a good subject to get interviews with the local media because it is a subject all consumers should be aware of. Plan on contacting the media and writing articles for your local newspapers — include carbon monoxide information in the postcard or letter mailings too.
Being proactive this fall will decrease your dependence on the weather. Now is the time to do it! Get everyone’s input and you’ll work as a company toward a common goal. It’s great for employee morale and profits!