As a business owner or sales professional, our success ultimately rests squarely on our shoulders. Whether we are a solopreneur or a member of a corporation, at the end of the day we are all directly responsible for our own results.
In my work as a business coach, I hear all too often from professionals that come mid-year their plans seem to have gone off the rails and they find themselves scrambling to get back on track. With July inching itself to the forefront this weekend and us heading into the second half of the year, this is a great time for a look at where you are today and where you want to be at year-end.
All of us should be keeping track of our progress on an ongoing monthly basis, however, halfway through the year is a good time to stop and take a real deep dive into our business to analyze if we are on track or might we require a course correction to have a strong finish to 2018. To help you set yourself up for success, I offer up six of my coaching tips to ask yourself as you conduct your analysis:
- Have you created an ideal client profile and defined your target market? This is one of the most important things a business owner or sales professional needs to know. You cannot work with everyone, nor would you have the time, so you must determine who you work best with and where these ideal clients hang out. It takes time and effort to do this, but it is well worth it if you can pre-qualify the right clients for you.
- If you have identified a niche and your ideal client profile: Do you have clear strategies and goals to implement a consistent onboarding process geared towards finding them? Have you made it easy for them to tell others about whom you work with, what you do, and how you operate? Are you asking them on a consistent basis to introduce you to these individuals? No one ever leaves a business or closes one down because they have too many people to talk to!
- Is your marketing strategy consistent with who your ideal client is? Do you run workshops, write blog posts, newsletters, shoot videos, and have other marketing collateral? If you do, is your material directly tied into the pain points and problems that your ideal clients are experiencing and do they offer the solutions they are looking for? Are you known as a thought leader in your field or are you simply perceived as someone else who does the same thing? Are you involved in the organizations and associations where your ideal clients are congregating? Have you sourced opportunities to collaborate with other business owners who share the same ideal client profile with you? Once you ask yourself these questions, it may be in your best interest to ask your staff/colleagues for their honest answers to those same questions and for suggestions about how you can best grow your business. It is easier than you think to get back on track if you have jumped over the important step of defining the ‘who’ in the question of who your ideal client is.
- Have you identified your unique skill? A unique skill is one that comes to you so easily that you think everyone else has the same skill, but I have news for you – they do not! First, identify what that skill is and then determine how to talk about it, focusing on the skill and not yourself. If you are not sure where to start, ask people you know, like and trust what they believe your unique skill is. I had one of my coaching clients do this exercise with 12 people and she received overwhelming feedback that she has the unique ability to take complicated financial information, break it down into chunks, making it easy to understand and less complicated to act upon.
- Are you guilty of self-sabotage? Whether you are a business owner trying to create a new product or a salesperson trying to learn the details about one that your company has just brought to market, are you sabotaging yourself with your need for perfection? Are you afraid to launch the product because it may not be perfect in your eyes or you are afraid to talk about the product because you do not think you know everything there is to know about it? If you don’t jump in with both feet, you’ll never learn how to swim so it’s time to stop thinking you can’t and believe that you can! Remember that 90% of something is always better than 100% of nothing so take a deep breath, launch that new product and then solicit feedback to make it better. Start talking to people about your company’s new product because teaching something new to someone else is one of the best ways to learn and I can guarantee you that you will know 95% more about it than they do.
- Are you hiding from your numbers? When things are going well the numbers are your friend however, when they are not they seem to be the last things you want to have a relationship with. This is pure disaster for any business owner or performance based sales professional. We all need to have an intimate relationship with our numbers because if we do not, how do we know if we are on track and if we’re making money or losing it? Pleading ignorance after the fact is not a solid plan or defense.
I trust you will find these tips of value and they will be of help with your analysis. My best wishes as you navigate your way through the balance of 2018 to achieve your ultimate goal of knocking this year’s plan right out of the park!
If you think coaching would be a good way for you to do that, let’s set up a complimentary strategy call to determine if working together is a good fit for you and your business future. Click here to set up a complimentary strategy call with me.
To Your Success!