Finish Strong

Take stock of the year, and keep moving forward

The year is almost over. How did you do? You are not alone in feeling like a slave to your business, especially at this time of year — but you still have plenty of time to finish the year stronger than ever. Here is a recap of our tips from over the last year.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself on the items below, where 10 is exceptional and 1 is a total fail.

  • Key Performance Indicators: Did you keep track of and improve on KPIs, and will you end the year at a profitable level?
  • Exceptional Shopping Experience: Do you provide the absolute best shopping experience for your customers?
  • Online Presence: How consistent are your online listings? Are you easy to find? And once customers do find your website, is it awesome?
  • Social Media: Are you using social media regularly to boost visibility and SEO?
  • Distractions: Have you implemented rules about cell phones and other distractions to increase productivity?

In this final article, we’ll share three success principles to add to the above. You can have insane results and still have a wonderful life without becoming a slave to your business.

Principle #1: Take 100 Percent Responsibility
Author Jack Canfield says one thing we can always control after an event is our reaction. If you failed to implement distraction rules and you have to pay overtime, take corrective action. If a customer comes into the store screaming because their brand-new spa is leaking, handle the repair as quickly and professionally as possible. If your KPIs don’t look so good, take responsibility.

The outcome will often be determined by your reaction to an event. Canfield calls it E+R=O. Event plus your Reaction will yield an Outcome. Taking responsibility for your reactions will give you much better outcomes, or at the very least, a sense of control.

Principle #2: Identify Pivotal Activities
Too many times, we see business owners doing bookkeeping instead of doing what really matters. Break down all roles and tasks you do regularly. Identify the top three that pivot you toward greater sales and success and when left undone, flatline your business. Do this for every role/person in your organization, then focus on implementing these as a top priority every day. If you apply this and limit distractions, it is amazing what it can do to the bottom line, not to mention the focus and energy you’ll find with such clarity.

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Example: A salesperson’s top three pivotal activities would be to:

  • Serve in-store customers with the utmost professionalism
  • Follow up with leads regularly and systematically
  • Follow up with customers post sale to create brand evangelists

That’s it. If your sales staff did this every single day, how would your business look in a year from now? If you identify the top three pivotal activities for each person in your business and determine that everyone works on those first, business will skyrocket.

Principle #3: Ready, Set, Go
To be ready to win the race, know where the starting line and the finish line are located. Make a plan to get to the finish line. If your goals are not crystal clear to everyone in your business, how will they know where to go? If you don’t have a plan in place to get going, then what is everyone supposed to do every day? We don’t always know all the steps needed to go from here to 10 percent growth — and life will get in the way, making you change the plan or the way you can reach your goal. But if you take the first step, the second one will come into focus. But you must be moving to win the race.

Have you and your team already shut down for the year? Or are you preparing for next year? When the season slows down, it is the perfect time to regroup, set your mission, vision and goals. Identify your pivotal activities and get ready for a great 2019. Take a hard look at the season that has passed. What did you do that was a total success. Can you duplicate it? Doing this work now and applying these success principles immediately will set you up for insane results.

After a 26-year career in the pool and spa industry, Danielle Lavallee Wasson pursued her passion to help retailers grow their business, founding My Retail Coach. Wasson’s approach is straightforward and provides real-life solutions that dealers can use to effect positive changes with their teams. Nathalie joined My Retail Coach in 2017. She brings more than 20 years of experience in online marketing of small- and medium-size businesses. She helps dealers improve their online presence by providing highly effective activities.

Their mission is simple: Help dealers get more customers, keep them longer and make more money. My Retail Coach services include online training videos and webinars supported by one-on-one coaching and consulting. You can find courses at mycoach.thinkific.com.