Archive for 2012

Strategies versus Tactics: Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Our guest this week is Marcus Miller, a Partner with Sticky Branding Inc., a business development consultancy specialized in firms selling professional services such as accounting, legal and wealth management. They help their clients sell more, faster by developing marketing and business development strategies for the post-Google era.

The “Trojan Horse” is a tale of how the Greeks took the city of Troy, which had been under siege for ten years. The Greeks tried and tried for a decade to take the city, but could not break through the walls. But the Trojan horse changed their fate.

Here are the quick facts. The Greeks constructed the huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside it. The remaining Greek army made a great display of breaking down their camps, and pretending to sail away. They left the horse at the gates of the city of Troy as a “gift”. In celebration the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. They believed they had won the war by standing their ground, defending their walls and holding the Greeks at bay for ten years. However that night the Greek contingent hidden inside the horse crept out of the structure and opened the city’s gates. The rest of the Greek army – the ones who pretended to sail away – were waiting, and the city of Troy was destroyed.

The Greeks’ strategy is one of deception. They deployed the wooden horse as a gift, and appeared to sail away in defeat. The strategy worked exceedingly well. Their goal was to open the city’s gates, and attack their unsuspecting foe. The wooden horse was an important part of the strategy, but it was simply a tactic.

The strategy is the most important aspect to winning a war. Marching into battle without a well thought out strategy does not deliver success. The Greeks demonstrated that for ten years. The Trojans were able to sustain the Greeks’ attacks, because their strategies were based on their conventional tactics of war. The Trojans understood the Greek history, and built defenses that nullified the traditional attacks. The Trojan Horse was a change of strategy.

Growing a business fits very well into the metaphor of waging war. When you focus on tactics you can get mired in a stalemate, and never achieve your goals.

The key to growth is strategy. You first have to come up with a clear strategy, and then execute it with effective tactics. The problem is tactics are a lot easier to grasp than strategy. Tactics are tangible like a wooden horse. In modern terms we talk about hiring sales people, implementing software systems, creating new websites and executing campaigns. And companies love to buy tactics. They see how tactic works, and can get moving on it right away.

Some companies even believe strategy is baked into the tactics. For example they may employ a marketing agency of some ilk (design, advertising, web, digital, whatever), and expect the tactical service they are buying to deliver a growth strategy. It doesn’t work that way. It’s like they’re assuming marching drills and frontal assaults will win the war without considering the big picture and how the enemy will counter. Adopting others’ winning tactics is not a clear strategy to succeeding.

Do you have a well thought out business strategy for winning your battles, or do you adopt tactics first and try to make the strategy fit? Trojan horses are not strategies, they’re tactics. They only turn into strategy when combined with other tactics to accomplish a desired outcome.

You can reach Marcus at 416.479.4403, ext. 21 or Marcus.Miller@StickyBranding.com.

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Ask 5 Questions To Find Out What Customers Want To Pay

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

I’m a Scotsman and happy to admit that I fit the “cost-conscious” stereotype that sticks to people from the country of my birth. In fact my friends call me “the canny Scotsman”.

While I’d hardly say that pricing strategy is my favourite part of what we do, I keep an eye open for anything that will give us – and our clients – an edge in that area.

That’s why a blog post about how to find out what customers will pay caught my eye.

The author, Rafi Mohammed, is a pricing consultant and he says that it’s as simple as asking your customers. My first reaction was that they won’t tell the truth. Human nature being what it is, it would be only natural for them to give a “low ball” answer.

But, as with so many things in life, it turns out that it’s not so much what you ask, it’s how you ask it.

Rafi suggests that, rather than ask the question directly, say that you’re carrying out a customer satisfaction survey. Tell your customers that you’re trying to understand what they like about your product or service so that you can serve them better in the future.

Then include these 5 questions in a series that probes general customer satisfaction.

1. “What competitive products did you consider buying?” If the answer is “none” then the customer is not price sensitive and you may have room to increase price. I think that, at worst, the answer will tell you who else your customers are looking at – a valuable piece of intelligence in itself. But, in this economic climate, I don’t think there are many companies that don’t consider alternatives.

2. “What do you think of our prices – are they too high or too low?” The logic is that some customers will clam up when asked this question – but that others will give a lengthy answer. Listen to the second group carefully, without probing any further, and then move on.

3. “What other features would you like added to the product/service?” I really like this question. The information you gather can be used to offer different versions of your service e.g. Silver, Gold and Platinum. It will also tell you what your customers would be willing to pay a premium for – fuel for the development of your next version of the product or service.

4. “What do you like and what don’t you like about our pricing strategy?” I like open ended questions like this. Everyone can find something to say, so the question gets people talking. And lays the groundwork for more probing.

5. “Are there other ways you would like – or even prefer – to buy our products?” This is the kind of question that – 9 times out of 10 – will produce an unsurprising answer. But that lone surprising answer, when it does come, could shake your current assumptions to their core.

If you want to read more, the blog post is called How to Find Out What Customers Will Pay.

By the way I’m not at all bothered being lumped into the Scottish stereotype. In fact I think being called “canny” – a term we Scotsman invented – is a compliment. The Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines it as “shrewd and cautious; worldly-wise; thrifty.” How can that be bad?

If you enjoyed this post you’ll also enjoy Prices – 6 Reasons To Keep Them Up.

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8 Things That Hinder Growth

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

How often are you surprised by the results of a survey?

It usually happens to me when the survey is about an area or topic I think (or I assume) I know something about. A case in point is one of the questions in the Inc. 500 CEO Survey.

The question is “What Could Possibly Hinder Company Growth?” The CEOs were asked to rate 8 factors on a scale of 1 to 5, with a score of 5 indicating the greatest obstacle to growth.

Before I even finished reading the question I was confident that offshore competition was going to be a major factor.

Was I ever wrong! Competition from abroad received the lowest score (1.43) i.e. it ranked 8th out of 8.

Once I saw the other factors I began to understand why it wasn’t number 1. But I didn’t expect Taxes (which scored 2.5) and Government regulations (2.4) to be considered significantly more of a hindrance to growth.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take it from the top.

According to the CEOs of these very successful companies, the biggest factor getting in the way of growth is finding talented workers. (It scored 3.31.)

The obvious question is why that should be the case given the current level of unemployment. And the answer is (I’m going to make another assumption here) what it has always been. There’s a mismatch between the talents that are available and the talents that are required.

Keeping up with demand (with a score of 2.67) came in second. I thought that was interesting given how weak the economic recovery is.

The companies in this year’s Inc. 500 are spread across 25 different industry sectors and so they’re not concentrated in one part of the economy. But they are, by definition, the fastest growing, privately owned companies in those sectors, outpacing the rest of the pack because, presumably, there’s great demand for their products or services.

Factor number 3 was domestic competition (2.55) which came in just ahead of Taxes (2.5). It’s interesting that local competition was also considered a significantly greater threat to growth than offshore competitors.

Steady cash flow (scoring 2.43) ranked fifth and I’ve already mentioned Government regulations (2.4), factor number 6.

The final factor was getting financing, which came in at number 7 with a score of 2.06. The explanation for that may lie in the answer to another question in the survey.

42% of the CEOs said that they had no need for outside funding. And only 4% said they had encountered difficulty in accessing capital to the extent that it had impeded their growth.

I’ve spent the last 15 years working with owner managed companies. And I spent 25 years working my way up the corporate ladder before that. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in that all of that time is that people have a greater impact on growth or success than anything else.

So, while I was surprised by the results for competition from abroad, I’m not in the least surprised that finding talented workers is the biggest factor getting in the way of growth.

If you enjoyed this post you’ll also enjoy 5 Tips for Fast Growth in a Slow Economy

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When “What If?” Becomes “What Now?”…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

 

This week’s guest is Howard Lerner, Partner at SBLR LLP Chartered Accountants, a full-service accounting and business advisory firm located in mid-Toronto.  With 9 partners and over 40 team members, including a strategic tax department, SBLR specializes in providing creative income tax solutions and high-level growth and exit strategies for profitable, privately-held companies.

 

One of the most important – but often ignored – reasons for preparing for the future succession of your business is to minimize the fallout from the unexpected.  While things don’t always go according to plan, the business has a much better chance of surviving if you’ve made preparations, in advance, for it to continue without you there.

The following is based on an actual story, illustrating the importance of planning ahead.  In a real-life situation, Karen, 56, started Staywell Corp, a health services business, 23 years ago. Her son John, 27, and daughter Beth, 24, have worked in the business since graduating from university.

Karen recently contracted a life-threatening virus leaving her paralyzed and unable to work.   Not having developed a strong senior management team, much of the business knowledge resided with Karen.  With the help of a few loyal employees, Karen’s children kept things together for several months, hoping in vain that their mother would quickly return to work.

Karen and her family never discussed what would happen in case of a tragic event, so John and Beth were completely unprepared for the responsibility resulting from their mother’s lengthy absence.  After six months of declining sales, John and Beth realized it was necessary to sell the business. The value received for Karen’s shares was substantially less than it should have been, as much of the intellectual capital was tied up with her.  The proceeds still resulted in a taxable capital gain to Karen of $1.2 million, thereby costing her family $110,000 in capital gains taxes.

After the sale, John and Beth left the company; only one has since found new employment.  Karen’s disability insurance, a fraction of her former CEO’s salary, means the family is struggling financially, as Karen needs full-time nursing care, and the after-tax proceeds were used to pay down debt.

How could this family have experienced a better outcome?  The answers all have one thing in common:  PLANNING.

1. Succession Planning – Karen could have developed a strong and capable management team and delegated as much responsibility as possible to the team, with the objective of making herself redundant to day-to-day operations.

2. Insurance Planning – At least bi-annually, life and disability insurance policies could have been reviewed to provide adequate coverage in case of death, illness, or disability.  Insurance strategies can often include funding the premiums using corporate assets certain situations.  This planning also involves the preparation and updating of proper wills and powers of attorney.

3. Tax Planning – A proper corporate structure also might have allowed Karen to multiply the Capital Gains Exemption on the sale of Staywell Corp’s shares, possibly eliminating all of the $110,000 of capital gains tax.

4. Exit Planning – Karen could have been developing and communicating her plans for the business, so that the key stakeholders (her family and senior management) would know and understand Karen’s wishes and how to execute them in case of disability or sudden death (yes, that happens, too).

5. Financial Planning – a solid financial plan could have established family assets in addition to the business investment, making the group less reliant on Staywell Corp for support.  Debts could have been managed to maximize interest deductibility.

Karen and her family have a tough road ahead of them but their situation offers an important lesson to the rest of us. Call your trusted advisors today and put some plans in motion to mitigate the implications of unexpected yet potentially disastrous situations.  After all “What if” can often turn into “What now?” but with a phone call or two, you can avoid that.

For more information, please contact Howard Lerner at SBLR LLP Chartered Accountants at 416-488-2345 Ext. 222 or at hlerner@sblr.ca

6 Challenges Fast Growing Companies Face

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I’ve mentioned Inc. magazine www.inc.com several times before. It’s a great resource.

There’s a well-researched article in the current issue about 6 challenges fast growing companies face. They’re all about execution – and if the owner doesn’t deal with them well any one of them can be fatal.

1. Your business outgrows its staff. One or more hard working, loyal employees who had the skills required to make a great contribution when they joined the company can no longer deliver. Owners are torn, knowing that the business wouldn’t be where it is without Joe or Mary – but that they just can’t cope and are hurting the company now. The solution needn’t be just to let them go but the owner needs to deal with the situation quickly and honestly.

2. You wait too long to hire.  A classic dilemma. Hire people before you need them and you add to overhead and risk having to lay them off if the orders you thought were coming don’t. The alternative is to risk service and credibility if the business does materialize. One solution – hire all-rounders who you can train and slot into more than one position.

3. Your business lacks the right systems. Two potential causes here. Either you don’t implement processes and systems quickly enough or the system you chose doesn’t work as advertised. I know which one frustrates me most – the latter. There’s nothing worse than dealing with implementation problems and delays – so have a solid contingency plan in case it happens.

4. You run out of money. We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the most important document for a business owner is a cash flow forecast. Keep it up to date, study it often and it will provide the information you need to stay out of trouble. Because growing companies have to invest before invoices are cut, never mind paid, they become less, not more, liquid.

5. You can’t keep up with demand. This is the most dangerous point for fast growing companies according to the article. The owner takes on debt to finance additional capacity – or people – and the demand doesn’t appear. According to the author the best solution is to manage growth so that it happens in small rather than large increments. But that’s not always easy to do.

6. The problem is the owner. If you’ve built a company – i.e. been successful – why would you have to change? That’s a reasonable question. But I notice, after 15 years of working with business owners, that the ones who grow their companies successfully are the most open and willing to change themselves. If the business can outgrow an employee, why can’t it outgrow the owner?

You can read the full article 6 Classic Ways to Crash Your Company here.

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6 Thoughts For Your Planning/Budgeting Process

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Can you believe that it’s almost the end of August?

I’ve hardly noticed the summer slipping past – perhaps I dozed more than I intended because of the heat!

It’ll be Labour Day in 2 weeks.

Then kids will be back in school which, for many business owners and executives, will mean that vacations are over for another year and it’s back to work. If your company has a calendar fiscal year, 2012 will be beginning to take shape.

The results from the first two quarters should be firmed up. Orders already in-house and the sales pipeline will provide an indication of whether you will make, or beat, your top line targets or whether there will be a shortfall. Year to date margins and expenses will give you a feel for what, if anything, has to be done to protect bottom line profit.

And, of course, annual planning and budgeting for 2013 will begin soon – if it hasn’t already started.

So here are some thoughts (I’d hesitate to call them pearls of anything, let alone wisdom) from posts I’ve written at around this time of year in the past.

1. To make as accurate a guess as possible about what the future holds you’re going to have to make assumptions. On what information will you base them? Something you read – or are you going to get out and talk to your customers and suppliers about what is happening in their world and what that will mean for you?  (See Don’t Let The Summer Heat Cause A Winter Chill)

2. When so much of what is going on around you seems out of control, it’s easy to stop focusing on the things that are under your control – i.e. whether or not you actually execute your plan. Badly done or completely neglected by many companies, execution is what turns plans into results. (From 6 Tips for Getting Better Results Next Year)

3. In this age of fast, unrelenting change it makes sense to forecast several different scenarios, build assumptions on thorough, comprehensive research (formal and informal) and think through contingency plans. (See It’s THAT Time of Year Again)

4. A sample of responses to a survey sent to our database showed that many companies who said they would miss their targets also said they had completed a structured planning process before the start of the fiscal year. That raises some questions. (See them at Give Yourself A Chance in 2011)

5. The owner must be the champion of the planning process. If, for example, the accounting department are perceived to be driving the process it will be seen as only a number crunching exercise, to be completed as quickly as possible. (See More Heat Less Chill)

6. Think you’re going to miss those top and bottom line targets I mentioned earlier? Then consider changing or modifying your strategy and business planning process. Why? Because if you use the same tools, in the same way, and expect a different outcome you may be in for a surprise. (See Don’t Fool Yourself……… )

Let me know what you think.

And good luck with your planning/budgeting meetings.

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Our Internet Is Not Their Internet

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Our guest this week is Paul Chato, CEO at Your Web Department™, the world’s first and only hosted website management system that lets people update and design their websites without programming. It’s hard enough to succeed in one career. Paul has succeeded in four different pursuits. See below…………

 

The Internet we are celebrating and using today is the slimmest approximation of what the Internet will eventually evolve to, assuming there is some kind of end point. Kind of like the reverse of the big bang theory. We have a better idea of where the Universe is heading than how it all began and while we know how the Internet started we have no idea where it’s going.

I have come to the conclusion that all we have done so far is digitally recreate a semblance of our present and near past, and stamped it “The Future.” Sort of like those Disney Epcot displays in the 80’s. We try to find old friends on Facebook. We look up ways to fix the washing machine pump. We had home delivery of newspapers, now we have newspaper apps. I could go on, but you get the idea. We have created an Internet us oldsters find familiar and comfortable, but the problem is that people 30 years old and younger have no idea why we are fascinated by this stuff. We have deluded ourselves into thinking we have built the future. We have not. Shockingly large swaths of what we have built will be disposed of in less than 5 years after my generation’s influence wanes.

For instance, few of this cohort read the New York Times in any of its forms. Ditto for local papers. They don’t listen to Talk Radio. They have a tight group of trusted friends. They find what they like. YouTube is still cool, I think. Entertainment in many forms is hot (I include sports and eating out here). They text amongst themselves. They search for specific answers. There is less serendipity in their lives – not including the 5 Korean Kimchi restaurants Siri has found for you. There is no looking through an encyclopedia for Schweitzer only to get distracted by the history of schnitzel. Heck, there is little interest in Schweitzer. Never in our history has the past been so disposable. And let’s not even get onto the topic of politics which we’ve managed to make uninteresting, bitchy and irrelevant.

We are not creating stupid people but a different people. The impact of their influence is only now being felt and understood. One thing’s for sure, we are entering into an era of hyper-consumerism and hyper-entertainment. Buying stuff in quicker, cooler ways will intensify. The Passbook feature in Apple’s iOS 6 points to this as does NFC (being able to buy stuff with your smartphone). But don’t be shocked at the speed with which our cherished Internet institutions will be ditched.

Physical structures provide an anchor to the present and a connection to the past. The Internet provides none of that. A website can be gone in an instance. Ironically, the predictions of the death of bricks and mortar stores at the start of the Internet big bang had it completely wrong. We know that now. Physical stores are hugely important in this age of hyper-consumerism. They are Brand Anchors. They are movie stars.

Retailers are ‘stars’

Anyone can buy stuff from Home Depot online but when you choose to go to the actual store people get that, “OMG, I’m actually at the store!” buzz. Buying something from a Lululemon outlet is like getting an autograph. Retailers must view their stores as their ‘stars on tour’. Come visit Canadian Tire. Get the t-shirt.

So, hyper-consumerism/hyper-entertainment I can see. The Internet will be unrecognizable in 10 years, but my crystal ball is cloudy as to how that will transpire. Are you ready to embrace this new Internet? If you’re a business, you’d better start thinking about it. Me? Just wake me up in 10 years.

More About Paul:
At first pursuing a potential career in nuclear physics, Paul chose, instead, to develop his creative skills. After graduating from Ryerson’s Radio Television Arts program he started Chato Art Ink, one of Toronto’s more successful independent design firms. He stopped designing to take up comedy, helping to form the now legendary Frantics Comedy Troupe, and will be forever remembered as Mr. Canoehead, “Canada’s aluminum-headed crime fighter.” Paul then joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation rising to the position of Head of TV Comedy. After considering a move to Los Angeles to take up a position as VP of Development at a major Hollywood studio, Paul instead chose to exercise his interest in computers. He started Electramedia and in the intervening years produced the hugely successful CD-ROM game Jewels of the Oracle, hundreds of corporate presentations, videos and Internet sites. In 1997 Electramedia switched its focus 100% to the Internet and most recently has become Your Web Department™.


If you would like to contact Paul email him at
paul@yourwebdepartment.com

Hurray For Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This week’s guest, Startup Expert, Roger Pierce, produces articles, videos and blogs to help companies engage business owners. He’s worked with Scotiabank, Visa, Staples, Bell, HP, FedEx, Cisco and Microsoft. Roger is the co-author of the book, Thriving Solo: How to Grow a Successful Business, and writes startup columns for The Toronto Sun, 24Hrs and Profit Magazine. www.NewcomerStartup.com

Any year is a great year to be a business owner, but last year the Government of Canada and most of the provinces officially declared 2011 as “The Year of the Entrepreneur.” In fact, throughout October, entrepreneurs were celebrated across the country as part of Small Business Month.

If you’re running a small business, or plan to start one, you deserve the applause: Here’s why:

Employ the most people 

According to Industry Canada, 48.3 percent of Canada’s workers are employed by small businesses. That’s over 5 Million people. We collectively employ more Canadians than any one company or government. 

Take big risks 

It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. We work long hours. We don’t get a steady paycheque. It takes several years for a new business to stabilize. Our personal relationships suffer, because our attention (and our money!) is held by the business. We risk our finances, our reputations and our energies without any guarantee of success; in fact, half of all Canadian startups fail within five years.

Sell to the world

It’s not big companies that open international markets, but small ones. Industry Canada says 86 percent of Canadian exporters were small businesses in 2009, accounting for $68 Billion in exports. In that same year, 28 percent of Canada’s GDP was generated by businesses with less than 50 employees.
 

Change the world

It’s entrepreneurs who make our lives better. From Gutenburg’s printing press to Steve Jobs’s revolutionary electronic devices, entrepreneurs challenge the status quo and dare to be different. We all win when an entrepreneur succeeds.

If you’re one of Canada’s 2.7 Million entrepreneurs, please know you hold the respect of a nation. Stop for a moment, take your bow…and then get back to work.

You can contact Roger at 416-302-5251 or pierce@newcomerstartup.com.

Increase Your Profits In 20 Minutes A Day…

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Our guest this week is Adam Green, founder of Maple North Internet Marketing, a Toronto-based online marketing firm specializing in search engine marketing, social media marketing and Google Analytics consulting.

The title may read like an overused infomercial – but if you’re reading this, you are interested in the offer.

We drive traffic to clients’ websites to generate sales, leads or increase brand exposure to help their business grow. So I’m often asked: “What’s the secret to online marketing?”

It’s really quite simple. Look at your analytics stats daily. Analytics, in the online world, are your website statistics. They track your visitor activity, traffic levels, goals and so much more.

So step 1, make sure you have some form of analytics installed starting today. I recommend Google Analytics as the system is quite robust – and it’s free.

Think of your website like a retail store or sales person on the road. How do people interact at your location/with your people and what types of behaviour have lead to sales in the past?

Write these ideas down on a list. Let me help you with a few:

1. We tend to close a sale when our sales reps use a case study.
2. We often get a “yes” when we discuss a specific service offering.
3. Customers purchase our products when they spend more than 5 minutes in our store or come back 3 times.

Step 2 is to consider how these questions relate to your website and what information it delivers. Do you have the case study in question on your website? How often is it visited? Can a visitor find the case study easily in your navigation? Should you make it available on your home page?

If your business gets more sales through an entry level service, how is that service portrayed on your website? How many people visit the page and what path do they take to get there?

If your retail stats show your customers’ purchase behaviour increases after “x” amount of store visits… guess what? You can see how often they visit your site in your analytics stats also.

Step 3 is to encourage repeat visits. Take some time each day and look at your web stats. Are you leveraging your email marketing list? Are you engaged in banner advertising and remarketing to drive traffic back to your website?

Create a baseline and begin to test ways to improve your website to grow your profits.

These 3 simple steps embody much of the secret to online marketing. Start using them and, in the 20 minutes a day you spend on them, you will increase your profits.

You can contact Adam at adam@maplenorth.com or by phone at 416-616-8597

Cop Out Or Common Sense?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

“How can you be sure that you’re not just taking the easy way out?”

“If you let yourself off the hook once, won’t it be easy to do it again?”

Last week’s post clearly touched a few nerves. I understand that some business owners feel strongly that a sales budget shouldn’t be cut mid-year. But I have an answer for those 2 (and the other) questions which were fired at me this week.

You’re not taking the easy way out if……….

1. At the beginning of the year you applied your execution “know-how”¹  to the setting of the goal. You do that by inviting the key people responsible for achieving the goal to participate in setting it. Before giving the goal the “go ahead” you persist in asking probing questions until you understand how the goal will be reached. Questions such as:

• Which products will generate the sales? (e.g. old or new)
• Who will buy them? (e.g. existing customers or new ones)
• What compelling reason will they have for buying them, now?
• Who is responsible for getting the sales and making, delivering and supporting the products?
• How will they need to work together and why will they do that?
• Are our reward systems strong enough to make them want to work together?
• How will our competitors react?
• What are the milestones along the path to reaching the goal?
• Who is accountable for reaching the milestones – and do they know that they are?

2. By doing this you ensure that:

• The goal is linked to the company’s capability for delivering the results.
• There is strict accountability for reaching each and every milestone.
• There are contingency plans to deal with the unexpected things that life consistently throws in the path of even the best laid plans.

3. Even if, despite all of that, unexpected circumstances force you to consider lowering the goal, you:

• Relentlessly seek out and focus only on the facts – not opinions, emotions, feelings or anything else – which have caused the situation to change since the goal was set.
• Evaluate the alternative responses to those facts using logic and experience.
• Conclude that the only alternative that makes business sense, in the long term, is to lower the goal.

You’re not letting yourself “off the hook” because………..

Lowering the sales goal is not the result of an emotional reaction. Nor is it a step which is taken lightly.

The decision is based on facts (about circumstances which might not even have existed at the time the goal was set). It’s a rational, well thought out response to the situation.

To act in any other way is not a logical approach to business and so flies in the face of common sense.

¹ “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done”, Bossidy and Charan, Random House, 2009, pages 32 and 38

If you enjoyed this post you’ll also enjoy Bad Strategy – How To Spot It

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