In business and in life, we are marathoners, not sprinters. We know how to … Read More
conserve energy in the face of adversity and how to pace ourselves out of the gate so that we have the endurance to finish strong.
Longevity takes a strong foundation, flexibility and willingness to adapt.
With the end of the year quickly approaching, you may be feeling the pressure of hitting your yearly goals. With the finish line in sight, now is the time for business leaders like you to ensure that your company is equipped to carry momentum moving into the New Year.
Here are ten tips for hitting your end of year goals en route to a prosperous new year.
- Evaluate your year goals. If you have already hit your year-to-date targets, great! Consider some new numbers for the final weeks of the year. If you are far from the results you had hoped to achieve, consider the obstacles you have faced, and think about the necessary adjustments you need to make in order to get back on track.
- Set achievable rest-of-year goals. Goals are ongoing guideposts and markers, not absolute requirements. They are most effective when set realistically. If you are currently below one of your targets, and your year-to-date performance is not where you know it should be, then you must acknowledge that your existing strategies are not working, and take immediate corrective action to close your performance gaps during these final weeks.
- Set a priority. Not priorities, but a single priority. Moving forward, ask yourself, what is the one thing that can make the biggest difference in how I finish this year?
- Move customers to the front of the line. Your clients’ schedules are just as full as yours between now and New Year’s Eve, with meetings, pending deadlines, and Holiday obligations. Why not send some of your best clients a token of appreciation? Mail handwritten notes or pick up the phone and touch base with some of the people who use your services or have purchased your products. They will thank you in the short term, and feel a sense of obligation in the long term.
- Turn over every stone. Plenty of once-prosperous opportunities will fall to the wayside for a variety of reasons – budgetary delays or reductions and company dynamics to name a few. Now is the time to review your pipeline to see if any opportunities should be revisited. You can also review your active projects and client lists to see if there are add-on opportunities that you have not visited to date. There is always the chance that circumstances or interests have changed since your last client interaction, and they may be willing to revisit.
- Create a sense of urgency. To truly reap the rewards near the end of the year, you need to create a sense of urgency for you and your clients, as it is easy for them to slip out of view with the holidays approaching. A few things to consider include free or discounted complementary services, a sales contest to drive end-of-year deals, and increasing the frequency of sales meetings until the end of the quarter.
- Communicate with your team. Now is a great time to bring your employees together. Rally them around the fourth quarter priority you have identified above. If you have already achieved your year-to-date goals, or are on track to achieve them, take some time to celebrate and recognize your employees’ contributions. If you have fallen behind on your goals, be honest with your team. Don’t blame them or make excuses, simply recognize that you have missed the mark and share what you plan on doing to get back on track.
- Be efficient. Make sure you utilize your time well. People tend to become distracted this time of year with meetings, back-logged emails, and upcoming holiday plans. By just making yourself aware of the amount of time you waste, you can consciously focus on getting more accomplished. Some key time wasters include: excessive email checking, not prioritizing projects and spending a lot of time on the Internet.
- Think creatively. What can you do to shake things up and get clients to act, pay attention, or increase their interest in you and your business? Being consistent in marketing, content, and strategy is critical, but adding a creative twist can drum up potential client interest. Consider partnering with other businesses, developing a short term offer, or creating a high value promotion.
- Seek out talent now, even if you won't be hiring until next year. Reach out to those people who you'd love to add to your team. Follow up over the next few weeks with additional conversations that could eventually lead you to a “yes” when you ask, "Will you come work for me?"
What about you? What are your end-of-year tactics to target outstanding goals and finish strong?