Archive for the Goals Category

The Performance Review Dilemma

The Performance Review Dilemma

I had a very interesting conversation with a client recently. She mentioned that her small company hadn’t done performance reviews in several years. The reason…? The company wasn’t in a strong enough financial position to offer raises.  This particular company had several years of tough times. Financially, they weren’t in a position to offer raises or bonuses to their employees as they had done in years past. Because they couldn’t offer raises, they believed that they shouldn’t do performance reviews. They believed that the only purpose of the performance review is to determine a new compensation structure. I was disheartened when I heard that line of thinking from this executive. Many times, a raise or a bonus is just one of several potential outcomes following an appraisal. Believe it or not, your employees have a vested interest in their progression as an employee. The performance appraisal time is an opportunity to share information with the employee, and more importantly, an opportunity to LISTEN to how the employee feels they have done over the past year. How have they improved this year? What is it that they are doing right? What new directions could this person pursue within the company? How

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Are You Stuck?

Are You Stuck?

I speak with many business owners who feel frustrated that they are experiencing a plateau. They aren’t growing, in fact, some of them are actually in a declining mode. What happens when companies get stuck in a rut, or feel themselves plateauing? How do you know if your company is in a rut? Some companies never realize it, they just don’t know how to recognize it, and believe it or not, many of them eventually die off. Those who can recognize what is happening, those that understand they have plateaued, and those that are willing to work to change their trajectory are the ones who will succeed. If you suspect you are stuck, the first thing to do is to take a look at your numbers. What story do your numbers tell over the last several years? Following the numbers will give you a solid picture of where your company has been and where you are likely to head with no significant changes. This may sound like a crazy question, but the first question I ask a “stuck” business owner is: “Do you want to grow?” I ask it in all seriousness, because there are a surprising number of people

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Managing for Results

Managing for Results

Most of the business owners I work with start out with one huge complaint – they spend much of their time putting out fires, managing people issues, and feeling out of control. They are generally pretty frustrated with the fact that they aren’t getting the results they think they should be getting in their company. Imagine their surprise when I tell them that they likely aren’t managing for results. Managing for results involved focusing all of the efforts of the company on a select, specific, set of targets. The CEO and the executive team determine what key indicators they want to measure in a given year. The chosen targets are goals that if achieved, will move the company forward. Once the key indicators are identified, they are shared with the entire team, so that everyone knows what they are trying to achieve in the coming year. Now, while this might sound simplistic, in reality, not many companies actually take the time to set targets and then cascade those down to the people who are responsible for hitting those goals. When everyone in the company knows exactly what measures they need to achieve, and more importantly, the part that each individual

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Growing Profits in 2018

Growing Profits in 2018

Growing profits does not necessarily mean you have to work harder.  Sometimes, we just have to work smarter. Look at how your salespeople are earning new business – are they actively communicating with potential customers or have they settled into being “order-takers”? What is your sales model? Do your salespeople all work from a process or a selling system, or are they each left to fly by the seat of their pants? Are you confident that your salespeople are communicating the unique value proposition your products or services offer? Do the research, and create a list of “Top-10” prospective customers – what would it take to earn their business? Find out who currently serves these customers and determine if and how you could better serve their needs. Reach out to lost customers. Find out why they left you if you don’t already know, then ask straight out what it would take to earn back their business. Express an honest and sincere desire to understand how you can best serve them. The key is being sincere. People will see right through a fake attempt to appear concerned, and that breeds mistrust. Take some time to actually have conversations with some of

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Setting Goals

Setting Goals

As business owners or company leaders, I’m sure you have experience with goal setting. We all know it is important, but do we really give it the time and attention it deserves? Do we use these goals actively to guide our work throughout the year? Many of us know that our goals should be SMART! This is a great acronym to keep us focused on developing solid goals. The goal should be Specific. As you develop your goal, really get a vision of what you are trying to achieve with this goal. Keep drilling into your vision until you come up with something very specific. Go for the detail on this visualization. What the mind cannot visualize, it cannot achieve! Your goal should be Measurable – what metrics will you use to track your goal and determine if you have succeeded? You need tangible evidence of completion. This can include short-term or smaller measurements if appropriate to gauge progress throughout the time period. Goals need to be Achievable. They should be challenging, with a touch of realism! Doubling revenue in a year is likely not achievable if the most revenue has increased has been 25%. You need to ensure you

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