It’s hard to imagine bigger things happening in 2018 than what have already happened in the last few weeks …
I bought a house and moved.
Celebrated 5 years of being in business at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and 3 years of being in business at Pure Barre Clemmons.
Had my first book signing for She’s On Her Toes.
And spoke to several hundred women about my best hiring practices outlined in my book.
But … the beginning of the last quarter of the year signals that it’s time to plan for big things for my businesses in 2018. That’s right, it’s that magical time of year when I start to do the following:
- Set monthly sales goals
- Plan marketing events to drive traffic and create leads
- Evaluate all spending and create next year’s budget
- Set management and leadership goals
- Develop my next book idea
The first step … getting organized.
I’ve mentioned before that one of the best tools that I have in my business owner organization arsenal is my Day Designer Planner. I decided on the Mint Lizard design for 2018, but it was a tough choice stacked up against, Black Spotty (which I had this year), Black Stripe (which I had last year) and White Marble.
I love The Day Designer. You can get a version of it at Target, but if you’re serious about keeping your schedule, goals and “to-dos” organized, you’ll want to spring for the Flagship Edition ($59). If you amortize that across the year, that’s less than $5.00/month to keep your schedule together—totally worth it, if you’re as busy as I am!
But it’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it. Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class. The appointments are on the left and the “to dos” are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page. There is also a spot to prioritize your top three “to dos” which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.
Another great thing about The Day Designer, is the free printable pages that allow you to either try out The Day Designer format and/or work on specific planning opportunities. If you’ve never used The Day Designer, I’d start with the Free Daily Planning Page and How to Design Your Week pages and see if you like them. For the more advanced, check out Fall Bucket List, Packing Checklist, Brain Dump, and Books to Read.
Ok … but back to planning big. Each week, I’ll create a list of all the steps I’ll take to complete each of these 5 tasks to start business off strong in 2018. The first 3 are all kind of interrelated, so I’ll tackle them together. First, I’ll schedule some time to develop our monthly sales goals based on historical information and what I think will happen in the future. I’ll be working on that this week to set myself up for creating our marketing and event calendar either next week or the week after. It’s all about doing one thing at a time to get all this work complete. With a little planning and time management, it shouldn’t be too difficult—which is why it’s important to take the time for your business planning for next year … NOW.
If I’m being honest, I’ll probably save #4 for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I usually have some time to think when I’m driving home to see my family and setting management and leadership goals is definitely a “thinking in the car” activity. I get some of my best ideas driving!
Leaving … #5. I had the opportunity to hear an amazing speaker at a conference in Vancouver, Sharon Lechter. Sharon co-authored Rich Dad, Poor Dad and writes for the Napoleon Hill Institute as well as being an entrepreneur herself. During her presentation, she discussed how influential women are at making purchasing decisions. She also talked about how most sales training was geared towards men. You know the whole, “if you don’t sell, you suck” philosophy. While it might be true, it just doesn’t have the same motivational response with women that it does with men. Hummm…wonder why?!
Anyways, Sharon’s message was that as women in business, we either sell or we serve. As in taking the time to understand our clients and serve them to the best that we can. I’m working on developing a whole customer service training for my team around this philosophy and I thought … wouldn’t this make a great topic for my next book?!
I still have to develop the topic further, but I think it’s so interesting to ponder the sales paradox and how women can actually overcome it. What is the sales paradox you might ask? Well, it’s simply this …
No one wants to be sold, yet we all want to buy.
But we don’t want to buy just any old thing. We want to make purchases that are meaningful and make us feel good about parting with that money. With each purchase, we aren’t just acquiring stuff or receiving a service. We’re expressing confidence that we’re using our money to support a great business or that we really value the item we’re taking home.
And because clients are increasingly savoy about what research they’re doing before parting with their money, businesses will have to adapt and shift their sales training to one that emphasizes better serving their clients—it’s all about serving and earning the repeat business of your client base.
And who better to lead the way? Women of course! The future of sales is female because women naturally want to help each other out and provide whatever service they can to their friends and community to do so.
I mean, take a look at your social media feed. How many of the posts are about places people have eaten and had a great time, or products they’ve been using and want to share because they are life-changing or helpful life hacks? We don’t have to tell the world about our favorite things, but we do … because if it helps someone out, that’s pretty great. So yeah … I’ll be refining this topic and getting to work writing book #2. Good times!
Well, I have a lot of work to get done. So, I’ll leave you with this … what can you do to improve your business next year? Take some time in the last quarter to set your goals for 2018 and create a budget. When you have a direction mapped out for your business, you might just make it all happen! Crazy!
I know I’ve been a little delinquent in my posting, but I’m feeling inspired and refreshed from my break. On Thursday, look out for 10 Things to Avoid When Budgeting for Your Business. I think you’ll get some great ideas about how to use your time in the last quarter to set yourself up for good things next year.
Until then, stay on your toes!