Priming the Pump for 2016

Your location is not your destination.” – Laverne Booker

This great quote and self-help book title by Laverne Booker is a perfect lead-in for our conversation about preparing for success in 2016.

Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is upon us, so it is time to start thinking about 2016 and what opportunities and challenges a new calendar year will bring forth.

Priming the Pump

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

As I have said many times before, great results and success boil down to three active ingredients – great people + great planning + great performance. This basic formula for success is straightforward, but there are a lot of steps in-between that are necessary to reach the destination.

If success has been elusive in the past, then changing your thinking and your approach may be what is required in order to affect a different outcome. Here are a few thoughts to consider to help you prepare for greater success in 2016 …

  1. Get the low hanging fruit! It’s about striking a balance. We all need more customers, right? However, when you evaluate the construct of your business, make sure not to over-invest in low-yield customers or projects that have a payoff too far into the future.
  2. Charge what you are worth. In most cases, price equates to value in the eyes of the consumer. Do you want your business to be recognized for low price or high value? Which is more compelling to your prospective buyers?
  3. Spend more time with your profitable customers. In most businesses, 75-80% of the revenues and profits come from 20-25% of the customers. Likewise, the majority of customers who decide to leave do so because they feel neglected. So, be sure to build upon those valued business relationships by staying actively engaged.
  4. Start with a blank canvass. If you continue to think about your business the same way, you will get the same results. However, if you want to bring about change, it starts by thinking differently about your business. Hint: Invite selected customers, partners and advisors to the planning table to gain new insights and a fresh perspective.
  5. Find your “Blue Ocean”. Move away from competing in the same market space with everyone else. Find your unique value drivers and discover a market niche where your business can thrive http://amzn.to/1Vsjd7l
  6. Stop wasting money on non-essentials. Return on investment (ROI) should be a key measurement for any organization. Strive to eliminate things that don’t improve financial results, customer relationships, employee productivity and morale, quality or operational effectiveness.
  7. Break the boundaries of Pareto’s Law. Related to #3, work to build more profitable relationships with a broader segment of your customer base to enhance results and normalize risk.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

Remember … “where you are today is not your destination”. Change your thinking. Even if you have been rigorous in your past preparation and planning, you must continue to ‘prime the pump’ throughout the year to keep the energy, creativity and ideas flowing to bring about the changes necessary to reach your goals.

For 2016, don’t focus on how far you must go to reach your destination, focus instead on the progress to be made today, next week, next month, etc. within the constraints of your current situation. You’ll be amazed at how fast the year will go by and how much can be accomplished in the process.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2015 John Carroll