Now that the C.A.T. (Communication, Accountability partner, and Take action) is out of the bag regarding the importance of accountability, how can you create a structure of accountability? Ask and answer the following questions and you will on your way to creating an accountability structure that will help ensure you gain the results you desire.
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 36
It’s the time of year when you start to think ahead to your goals for 2013. Your inbox starts to become filled with newsletters such as ours that talk about the importance of setting goals. Putting goals on paper is an important step. They provide you and your business with direction for the upcoming months, but before you set those goals, there’s an important step that many business owners overlook. That step is looking at the accountability structure you need in place to meet your goals.
Many businesses owners feel as if they are isolated from the rest of the world and believe that accountability within the business stops with them. They feel there’s no one to talk to when things are not working as planned. There’s no one to vent to when they are frustrated or to encourage them to take that next step. There’s no one to celebrate the many small steps they take each day to reach their goals. Were you surprised the last time you did not meet a goal? The scary answer is probably not. Did you want to meet your goals? Of course, but by not having that measure of accountability in place, the journey becomes long and lonely. There are a number of ways to establish accountability for yourself with in your business.
We are thinking of our clients that are facing the complications brought on by Hurricane Sandy. We hope that those of you impacted are hunkered down and safe. This storm obviously has the potential to impact all of us as travel and suppliers are impacted. While you might not be in the direct path of the storm we encourage thinking and preparing for the ways that your business might be impacted. Preparing for a natural disaster is hard on a personal level, but as business owners you have more complications to deal with than the average person. Preparedness and communication with customers, employees, and vendors is often the key to surviving a natural disaster. Whether you are impacted by Sandy or not, below are our “Air Force One” tips on being prepared and keeping in communication during business interruptions.
When was the last time you took a good, long look at your financial reports? Do you remember what your income statement looks like? What does a balance sheet have to do with the day to day operations of your business? What types of investing in the company infrastructure do you need to do before the end of the year? These are some of the questions business owners have to ask themselves as they take stock of their current financial situation and plan for the push to the end of the year. Now is the time to take a look at what your support system looks like and what resources you have at your disposal to insure your finances are as strong as possible.
It happens to nearly every one of us. When summer arrives and the kids are out of school, life outside of the business becomes more prevalent, if not more important. Family vacations become the priority. Spending more time with your children when they have the free time becomes more important. The work/life balance you strive for has become skewed. Then, you wake up one morning and find that the business goals you set for 2012 are still a long way off. Your desk is a mess and you have no idea where information is. Your thoughts are scattered and you are having trouble identifying how to get back on track. Take heart! This is not a unique situation. You are still in the fight. You just need to get back on track.
You have probably heard it said many times that Sales is a numbers game. That has certainly been our experience here at E-Myth Benchmark, but just what does that mean? I mean seriously, in real numbers what does that mean? If you were in front of 100 potential customers who were all within the demographic model of your most probable customer, and you offered them an opportunity to buy whatever it is you sell, how many would you expect to have immediate interest?
Actually, there is a fairly consistent answer, regardless of what you are selling. It’s about three percent. That number has come up several times in recent quantifications we have done both internally and with clients. It is so fascinating (to those of us who are fascinated by human behavior and the sales process), that I recalled reading about it several months ago and went back to review it. “It” is a book by Chet Holmes, entitled “The Ultimate Sales Machine” (Forward by the one and only Michael Gerber), which I highly recommend.
Have you ever wondered what your business is worth? I don’t mean what you would like to get for it; I mean the amount someone would actually pay you for it. Do you know what conditions or attributes make your business more valuable? How about those that make it less valuable? As best-selling E-Myth series author Michael Gerber said, “The only sane reason to own a business is to sell it”. It might be tomorrow or 20 years from now, but creating a highly valuable and saleable business is, after all, one of the principal goals of business ownership. Not only that, it’s an activity that begins the day you open for business and never stops!
According to a Chinese Proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best is now.” How often have you found yourself wishing you had started something much earlier than you did; that you had given yourself more time to do a better job or to get a better result? “With an earlier start and more time”, you reflect with regret, “I would have had so many more options and wouldn’t be scrambling so much as my deadline approaches.” And yet, this is not the first time you’ve found yourself in a last-minute rush to get something done…you’ve been here before. Haven’t you?
So, wouldn’t this be a good time to ask, “When is the best time to establish year-end goals and begin to meet them?” In the last quarter, or the first? When there is only a month or two left, or eleven?
We are born. We die. In between is Time. And even though Time is what it is, we try to get our arms around it by measuring it…in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. But more importantly, we get to decide how to use it…every single one of us. The Time that has gone by we will never see again (at least not in this lifetime). We don’t know how much Time we have left. We can no longer choose how to use the Time of yesterday…we already did that. We don’t know if we’ll have a choice about the Time of tomorrow…hopefully each of us will.
The only Time we really know we have and can choose to use in a way that brings us joy and satisfaction is the Time happening NOW. As a matter of fact, when you really think about it, the only Time that really matters is Real Time—the Time happening NOW.
The month of December is known for many things, most notably the Holidays, the official beginning of winter, and as a time for many celebrations and social gatherings. If you’re a business owner (and even if you’re not), you could probably categorize most of your December activities in the following two ways: (1) completing tasks and goals by year-end that have piled up from earlier months due to procrastination, and (2) creating that ever-increasing list of intentions to do or start things that can wait until after the first of the year but you always have and certainly do intend to do them and know you should do them but simply haven’t gotten around to them in spite of the fact that your life would be a whole lot easier, healthier, more efficient, more successful had you simply done it but procrastinated instead. (I’ll punctuate that sentence later, when I have more time.)