Spring is in the air, the flowers are blooming and we may be seeing winter’s last gasp. I for one am eagerly looking forward to spring: warmer and longer days with the promise of summer around the corner. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.
For those of you who were fortunate enough to be at the April dinner meeting, you really had a treat. Eileen McDargh spoke on Radical Resilience and wowed the entire group. The buzz after included “She is the best speaker we have ever had.” Her delivery was superb. Her content was rich, funny and powerful. She was genuine, authentic and compelling. During her presentation the group was riveted and after was full of energy. Click here for more information.
As we launch into Q2, I have a question for you, “Are you on track?”
Typically at the beginning of each year, we have great goals and the best of intentions. As we get busy and involved with the day to day operations of our businesses, we can have a tendency to lose sight of the big picture and get bogged down in the details, which ultimately can reduce our profitability, productivity and motivation.
As we begin the 2nd quarter of 2012, it is a good time to revisit out business growth checklist. Our strategic goals for the year are meant to be a working document that helps to keep us on track. In order to do this, we need to keep them top of mind every day and review our progress on a quarterly – or better yet – monthly basis.
Let’s just hit the high spots:
Strategic plan with SMART goals for 2012. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. With the first quarter behind us, how far have you come in reaching these goals? Do they need more of your time and attention to be met? Or were your goals overly ambitious and therefore not within the SMART criteria? If the latter is true, now is the time to update them and revisit the SMART guidelines. Or perhaps, your goals were not ambitious enough and need to be stretched for success. This too indicates time for an update.
How do you spend your time? Is the majority of your time spent in activities directly related to achieving your goals? Being very busy does not mean being productive in a business sense. Recently a client listed the time she spent on all her activities and was surprised to learn that most of her time was spent in administrative tasks that did not advance her business goals. She was quickly able to adjust both her plan of action and her time allocation to be in alignment with reaching her goals.
Your decisions are in alignment with your strategic plan and goals. Resources in terms of finances, human capital, equipment etc. are limited. Decision making which ensures that resources are dedicated towards the achievement of your strategic goals is more likely to produce successful outcomes. Doing otherwise dilutes the focus and the results.
If you have employees, have you reviewed their job descriptions and are clear in communicating to them how they can be successful? What is obvious to you may not be clear to them. Having frequent conversations with them to make sure that you are all on the same page is important.
How often do you confer with your trusted advisors? Successful business owners surround themselves with people who possess the talents and perspectives to help them grow to the next level. Doing so on a regular basis can help you to stay on course to achieve your goals for current and future growth. When was the last time? Who do you need to add to this group?
The second quarter is underway, and from all reports it seems that the economic recovery continues and the prediction is that it will be slow and steady. The good news about slow and steady is that we can plan time on an ongoing basis to ask, “Am I on track? Are my business practices poised for continued economic improvement?” The slow and steady environment can actually help our business growth to become strong and sustainable.
I look forward to seeing you at many of our NAWBO-OC events. Click here for our calendar.
Wishing you all the renewal of spring and a very successful 2nd quarter!
Maureen Rhyne, Ph.D.
NAWBO-OC 2011-2012 President
President, Heritage Associates, Inc.