Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Year, A New You!

Another year has rolled by and most of us are left wondering where it all went. Between business, personal events, the election, the economy, the holidays…. I believe someone hit the fast forward button! Right around now everyone starts to take stock of the year and plot some changes they want to happen. We all make the infamous new year resolutions which usually get ditched by mid January. Why don’t they stick? It is poor planning and lack of the tools to get you there.

Let’s hit the pause button and get a plan together. It’s easier than you think!

Tools needed: 2009 calendar, pen and paper (or electronic note capturing device), a clear head with no distractions, a desire to grow towards your dreams

Step 1: Have a vision of success! Pretend 2009 has already happened and your sitting back reflecting on it. Envision what you “wanted” to happen – your ideal year. For business goals this could be better retail sales, and growth in your color or body service business. For personal goals it could be better work life balance, a family vacation, a weight loss or health goal. Here is a tip -- keep your goals to a manageable amount. If you have 20 goals, you will feel overwhelmed and they will never happen. Choose the ones that mean the most and focus on those.

Step 2: Write it down. Now you have the goals in mine, put those gems on paper (or your computer, your email, your blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, peach….whatever it is you use these days to keep track of your life). Defining the goal correctly is vital to the success of the goal. Examples could be grow sales, lose weight, more family time etc…

Step 3: What gets measured, gets done. I’m sure you have heard this before but if we don’t benchmark our success how do we know when we reach it? The key is to take the goals you listed in step two and make your goals measurable. Don’t just say grow retail sales or lose weight. Instead say grow retail sales by 7% by end of the year, all staff must complete 2 sales training classes, or lose 10 lbs by May.

Step 4: Who, What, When, Where, How. Here is where the rubber meets the road. If you can do this next step you are 90% to accomplishing your goal! Take each goal you have chosen and decide the who, what, when, where, and how. The more detail the better.

Example – Goal: Grow sales by 7% by the end of the year. Who: As the owner, I will provide sales training, excellent product, and the support to make my sales success. All staff owns their piece and is responsible for increasing their personal retail sales. What: Retail sales must grow 7% over 2008 retail sales number. When: Sales training in Jan. Retail sales measured weekly. Where: I will track by sales by staff member and salon on a chart in back room. How: Will provide sales training to all staff in Jan. Refresher tips and team discussion at weekly sales meeting. Chart each staff member’s number on chart in back room. Bonuses given out to top performers each month. Monthly check in meetings to gauge success and discuss tactics.

Take out your 2009 calendar. Write in the info above. Jan schedule in house sales training. Call Crystal Focus by 1/10. Write in your weekly sales meeting on Tuesday morning a half hour before the shop opens. Make attendance mandatory. Write in the first day of the month celebration meeting to review where we are to sales target.

Do this for each separate goal. You now have a calendar full of your goals and all the steps to get there!

Step 5: Celebrate the steps (not just success). Completing the goal is the ultimate success but the real reward is journey there. Take time out to rejoice in the baby steps along the way. Take everyone out to lunch when they complete the sales training. Give out gift cards or free days off to your top sales performers. Give yourself a day at the spa for exercising 4 days a week. Or a splurge day of pizza with the girls. Write these celebrations in your calendar too. Plan for success. However, be honest with yourself. There will be set backs, slow sales months, that extra piece of cake at the birthday party, the big conference you had to get to and you missed family night … This is the real world, but it will be easy to get back on track if you simply follow the calendar you have right in front of you.

See that wasn’t too painful (I hope). You now have the tools, tips, and a road map to make your 2009 vision a reality. Wishing you a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!

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