It’s the Fourth Quarter & the Finish Line is in Sight
8 Steps to Finishing 2020 Strong & Achieving the Goals You Set in January
I was talking with a friend recently about his love of marathon running. 26.2 miles. That’s a pretty good drive—not to mention one heck of a run. In talking with my friend, he insisted that during a race, he never thought about how arduous it was or how many more miles and miles he had in front of him. Instead, he broke the race up into a series of landmarks. Once he reached one, he’d set his sights to the next.
My friend said he concentrated more on keeping a steady pace, breathing consistently, and grabbing waters to stay hydrated. The only time he would ignore his pacing was when the finish line was in his vision. Then, he’d let it all out. Every ounce of energy he had left he’d expend in hopes of achieving his best time.
Marathon running isn’t that much different than running your business. Like a marathon runner, you may have been chugging along steadily, but now the fourth quarter is almost here. Your finish line is in sight. It’s time to let it all out and do your very best to reach the lofty goals you set in January.
Here are some strategies to help you reach your goals this fourth quarter:
- Adjust Your Mindset. In order to move forward, you have to stop looking back. You can’t worry about a bad February. You can’t hang onto any other type of excuse. Rather than harbor that negative energy, look forward. Be determined to be positive and concentrate on the few months remaining in your fiscal year.
- Be Open with Your Team. If you haven’t been having regular company meetings, it’s time to have one now. Let them know where the company is sitting in relation to the goals set in the beginning of the year. Let them know that you’re going to need their help in achieving them. It’s going to take a team effort.
- Be Uplifting! During your team meeting, be sure to stay positive! Be excited about the opportunity that’s ahead of you all. Talk from the heart about how much you appreciate what they’ve already done, but tell them that you know you can all—including yourself—do a bit more. And you very much believe that, as a team, you can achieve more.
- Give Them a Target. If you’re going to ask your people to do a bit more, you need to give them a final target. Like a marathon runner setting his vision towards a landmark or the finish line, your employees need to know what numbers they need to hit in order for the company to achieve its final goal. For example, give your CCRs the booking percentage they need to hit and/or the number of clubs the need to sell. Tell your technicians what their average invoice needs to be. Inform your salespeople what their closing percentage needs to be.
- Provide a Reward. If you’re asking your people to do a bit more, to extend themselves even more, you should also provide them with some added motivation. If the company hits your yearend goal, maybe you’re going to take the whole company on a small get away. Maybe everyone wants cold hard cash? Consider asking them what they would want. But if you want to finish strong, you should think about offering something to keep them inspired.
- Don’t Stop Training. If you want your people to perform well, you can’t fall into the trap of insisting they spend every moment while at work in the field or on the phones. They need to continue to train. In fact, it’s likely that they need to train more. Your call takers need to know their scripts flawlessly. You want to be certain that your technicians know exactly how to perform their inspections, propose options, and properly take care of the homeowners needs. And you want your salespeople to have a response to every single objection they could face.
- Don’t Stop Motivating. You can’t stop motivating after that company meeting. It’s vital that you’re constantly upbeat and supportive. You’re more than the owner and/or GM. You are their leader. They’re looking to you to lead them towards achieving this big goal. They need to see that you believe they’re able to achieve it.
- Do Your Share. Once you’ve outlined to your team what they can do to help the company achieve your yearend goals, take a good, hard look at what more you can do. Maybe it means spending some more money advertising? Maybe it means hiring a few extra people? If there’s something you can do as the operator of your company, now is the time to do it.
In talking with my marathon running friend, I asked him what kind of toll the race puts on his body. He admitted that his feet are often blistered, his knees are sore, and his muscles ache. I then asked why he keeps running marathons. His answer was simple: The adrenaline and the sense of accomplishment. None of the pain he suffers outweighs the feeling he gets crossing the finish line, especially when he knows he’s posted a personal best time.
You’re in the last stretch of 2020. Your finish line is within reach. It’s time to look again at those goals you set many months ago. It’s time to make an effort to end the year strong and reach those numbers. You can do it. I believe in you. It’s going to be hard work. There may be some rough days. But the thrill of breaking company records and the excitement that will permeate your office from accomplishing something of that magnitude will make all that hard work worth it.