Monday, 27 February 2012

Are You on Track?

We are now almost 1/6th of the way through the year. It’s less than 10 months until Christmas! Isn’t it amazing how fast time flies.

So are you on track?

No doubt you had goals for the year. If not goals them maybe some dreams or at the very least a loose idea of what you would like to achieve.

So are you on track?

The maxim “What gets measured gets improved” is powerful and relevant regardless of who you are and what you do. I break it down to make it easy (I am only a simple guy!)

I have an annual target (plus a stretch target) with rewards for each. Then each month I have the breakdown of what that need to be.

I am measuring monthly sales, monthly $ invoiced and monthly value of opportunities. These things matter most to my business.

Other measures to consider are Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Cust Acquisition, Lead Conversion and Lifetime Value of Customer. (Let me know if you need help working these out). Other speaker friends measure Nights Away from Home, some people measure Dates with Family.

Remember what gets measured gets improved.

What about you?  Are you on track? Get measuring and find out.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Is Your Body Where It Needs to Be?


The late, great Kevin Merry (my Dad - the one on the right) often said to me, “sometimes your body just has to be there whether you want to go or not.” Usually he was talking about funerals, wedding, celebrations and events where you could choose to go or not.

That message always stuck with me. It was reinforced when I missed one of my best friend’s wedding – a decision I will always regret (Sorry Simon).

But I am one who learns from mistakes. So this week Wifey and I are at her friend’s wedding. It is an Indian wedding in India. In fact, it is a Punjabi Sikh wedding so that means 4 days of celebration spread over a week. I have even grown a beard for the occasion to go with my turban!

Three weeks out of my business this early in the year was not really what I had planned. It has set me back on a few things but Wifey and I decided that our bodies had to be here. The bridal couple are fabulous people, it will be an amazing cultural experience, we get to spend a little extra time enjoying the delights of India and I don’t have to shave for a month. So many great reasons to be here. If I really wanted, I could come up with many why it would be better to be at home.

Sometimes your body just has to be there.

Image: My father in law and father at Wifey and my wedding in 2007

Monday, 13 February 2012

How Are Your Reflexes?

Can you twist, turn and flip when you need to?

Last week I was riding my motorbike to a client site for some mentoring (yes my motorbike is my company vehicle! Yay!) On the way two people nearly killed me and a police officer nearly scared me to death.

The two drivers didn’t mean to kill me, they just changed lanes without looking properly. It’s easy to do, I have done it myself. Fortunately, every time I go out on the bike I expect someone to do this so I am hyper vigilant. In both occasions I could quickly twist the bike out of harm’s way.

The police scared me because he sounded his siren for a burst. I knew he was behind me but I didn’t notice the unmarked police car to his left. He was basically saying “hello” to his mate, police style. As soon as I saw the unmarked car I knew I had nothing to worry about.

Running or working in a business is the same. You have to be alert (but not alarmed) for things that may cause damage to your business or cause you to go in another direction. When you detect these you need to be willing to quickly change direction. You also need to be alert for things that sound and look like they need a reaction, but don’t.

So how are your reflexes? Can you twist, turn and flip in your business when you need to?

Picture: My bike on a trip to Canberra 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Email Auto Responders

I love email auto responders.

When I am travelling they give me a chance to let clients and prospects know what I am doing and I can set them up so they are almost self service.  A few links here and there and clients can get what they need.

They are great marketing showing your contacts the development and work that you are doing for others or the growth you are experiencing yourself.

I got an auto responder message from a client today and I loved it. It is so cool I just had to share it.

"Thank you for your enquiry. We are currently travelling in the Arctic Circle in pursuit of the Northern Lights. We will be on email though so should be able to respond shortly to your enquiry."

How fantastic is that!!

Better make sure my autoresponder message is that cool for next week - shoot me an email next week and test it!

Monday, 6 February 2012

What is Your Backup Plan?

When everything is going fine, we don't spend time thinking about what could go wrong. But it is when everything is going fine that you MUST consider what happens if things go wrong?

Yesterday Wifey and I were out for lunch with friends celebrating Wifey's birthday this week. It was lovely place in the Yarra Valley wine region. A hot (33 C) and windy day, but comfy in the air-conditioned restaurant.

Then the power went out.

As they have electric doors, the first response is that the doors automatically open. This let in the blustery warm wind. We ordered food and were told that they can't start cooking it yet. One of our party went to the toilet and came back quickly saying there were no lights in there.

Fortunately they had a backup generator so after a little bit, the power came back on and all was ok. Then just as our meal was served the power went off again (doors opens again too!). This time it didn't come back on. After desert, a waitress came over to ask us what we had so she could prepare the bill.

Essentially they had a backup plan but not a secondary backup plan. It seemed that their generator was enough to help shut things down but not enough to run their operations on an ongoing basis.

What about your business?

What would you do if your power was out for the day?
What would you do if your computer hard drive crashed?
What would you do if you could not issue invoices?

Now is the time to have a plan in place and then follow it when you need to.

So what is your backup plan?