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Stop The Insanity And Start Profiting

Posted By Dave Lavinsky On December 27, 2012 @ 11:00 am In Small Business Operations | 9 Comments

By now we’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

But if so, then why do business owners do the same things every week, month and year and expect revenues and profits to grow?

Below I’ll give you two quick exercises to stop this insanity and immediately start growing your revenues and profits.

The First Exercise

Make a list of the three things that worked really well in your business over the past year and the three things that haven’t worked well. Then, start doing more of the three things that worked well.

Seems simple, doesn’t it?

But the vast majority of business owners do the opposite. That is, they keep focusing on trying to make things work that aren’t working. Rather, focus your energies on ideas and strategies that have worked well in the past.

For example, if you brought in a lot of money from a sale you did a few months ago, maybe you should figure out how to offer a new sale every month. Or, if training your salespeople six months ago led to a sales increase, maybe it’s time to do another training session.

Unfortunately, when we were kids in school, our teachers taught us to work on our weaknesses. Rather, in business, we should focus more on our strengths; what we’re good at and what’s working. Doing so will bring you a ton more success.

The Second Exercise

Write down your ultimate goal for your business. For example:

  • Do you want to sell it in five years?
  • Do you want to take it public?

Next, write down what your business looks like at that time:

  • What will your revenues be then?
  • Profits?
  • How many employees will you have?
  • How many customers?

Now that you have an idea of the business you are trying to build and what it looks like, you have a chance of actually creating it (before you didn’t). So, you’re off to a great start.

Now, to build this business, here’s what you need to do:

  • Figure out what you need to accomplish in the next year to put you on the right trajectory to meeting your ultimate goal.
  • Determine what you must accomplish in the next quarter to put you on the path to meeting your annual goal.
  • Determine what you must do in the next month to be on the right path to accomplishing your quarterly goal.
  • Decide what you must accomplish in the next week to be on track to hit your monthly goal.

In my book I call this process “reverse engineering success.” That is, once you know where you want to be in the future, you can work backwards to determine what you must accomplish in shorter and shorter time periods in order to get there. Then, you can adjust your schedule to ensure you complete these short-term goals that allow you to realize your long-term vision.

To summarize:

  • Repeat the actions and strategies that have worked well in the past. They are proven winners, and deserve your attention.
  • Start at the end. If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there. So, figure out where you want to take your business.
  • Work in reverse. Figure out what you need to accomplish each week and month to progress you towards your ultimate goal.
  • Organize these shorter-term goals into a business plan for you and your team to follow.

Do these things and you’ll start to see your success soar!

Stressed [1] Photo via Shutterstock

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