By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer
‘Tis the season when many of us feel the end-of-year stress in business, as we race to just get to the holidays to take some time off before jumping in again in January to kick off a fresh and better year all over again. Yes, I know that was a run-on sentence that felt chaotic … on purpose.
‘Tis also the season for finding a way to juggle the chaos while re-calibrating and planning for the next year. You still need to generate revenue and productivity in this last quarter of the year while simultaneously go through the arduous budgeting process, especially as the leader of the company. To truly be successfully, you must exercise your simultaneous muscles to be able to do both, which involves more than delegation. It requires a true mastery of keeping your eyes on all the balls on the court. Because in business there’s ALWAYS more than one ball to watch, right?
Instead, what I witness (and even am guilty of) is directors, especially HR Directors, hustling hard during this time of the year get their budgets done for the “big bosses” and that’s almost the only thing they can focus on. As a training and consulting company, many our “friends” and decision makers are HR Directors, so I’m saying this with true understanding (and not judgment). They don’t have time to talk to me about the actual plan we can put in place for them in the new year because they are crunching numbers to have a completed budget by deadline.
Whether you’re selling consulting services or widgets, your decision makers (or links to the decision makers) can’t always find the time to carry your solution suggestions up the chain and it’s equally frustrating to them as well. Meanwhile, many of us still have a lot of widgets to sell before the year ends for both Q4 and next year.
Whether you’re the leader, the director or the sales person, the following still SHOULD happen during this time of year (even if your company is not on an annual year):
- Review the year to date and determine what to stop, start and continue doing in the new year
- Set goals
- Start and finish your budget
Okay, those first three strategies are simple and standard, yes? Of course.
So, let’s dig deeper.
4. Go back through your budget and determine exactly how you will spend and make money.
Ah, things just got real, right?
So real, I’ll repeat it:
Go back through your budget and determine exactly how you will spend and make money.
There’s nothing more exciting than FINALLY finishing the budget, submitting it and even having it approved … and then you breathe easier, walk away from it and disappear for the holidays. You return in January slightly overwhelmed, playing catch up from days out of the office and then it’s February!
Who’s with me on this?
And then you attempt to start planning and executing. Next thing you know it’s April or May and you’re back on the hustle because summer is coming and people disappear for three months and that’s starting to slightly stress you out, especially if you’re a summer seasonal business. I’ll stop right there. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s cyclical and predictable.
So, what if you …
- Spent December getting clear on what you will be able to plan and execute in the new year?
- Got specific with details on how and what you will do?
- Talked to people on your team to get their feedback for new plans?
- Took the time to look at vendor proposals to making your spending decisions while using your simultaneous muscles to get specific on who you will target for sales generation? And …
What if … you put a strategy behind the numbers?!
I personally love Q4 for re-calibrating and making new plans.
I also hate Q4 because it’s a struggle to get clients to finalize plans and close deals.
It’s a delicate dance that can easily turn into a slip on the dance floor if not practiced enough for mastery.
So, put on your dancing shoes and fill up that dance card. No one wants to be the wall flower at the end of the night, especially if it conjures up bad childhood memories and further hinders your business success.
If you’re feeling stuck, it’s time to pivot!
P.S. If you need some help with creating a more detailed strategy for 2017, our CEO “Pilot” Program will keep you on the dance floor!
P.P.S. Want some inspiration from modern leaders who know how to shift their cultures to success? Listen to The Pivotal Leader podcast, now on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Store.
ABOUT THE POST AUTHOR
Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer, knows how to pivot to profits from problems and find joy through the process. Her philosophy is that performance pays and people need to be trained to perform on the stage of business to achieve results.
Gina successfully pivoted from her entertainment company Carolina Improv Company to spinning off Pivot10 Results, a strategic training and consulting firm that helps business teams to quickly adapt their communications and engagement skills in leadership, customer and sales to achieve results by providing them experiential learning tools and strategies.