Thursday, May 1, 2008

We are 1/3 done with 2008

Time to take a check on how things are going with your business plan. Did you realize that as we start May, we are 33% done with the year already. That means we need to evaluate where we are in comparison to our goals and make course adjustments as needed. Too many of us wait til way to late to try and make corrections to what is happening. We need to be watching our financials and other KPI's regularly and making adjustments along the way. If we don't, we get to July 1 or even much later and have to make huge changes to try and correct issues that have been present for a while but we just weren't paying attention. Then our moves have to be much more intense and bigger in scope to get the needed outcomes. If we make small changes along the way, we have longer for those to make a difference and move us where we want to be.

There are some key areas you need to be watching as you move through the year. One key area is to watch monthly at a minimum how your bottom line (EBITDA) number is tracking. It is important that you have established what a satisfactory profit looks like to you and then manage to achieve that number. Profitability should not be what is left over after all the bills are paid - it should be a planned amount that is required to have a successful year. Far too many of us just run our company and hope we come out with a profit at the end. We don't plan for it far less manage to achieve it. But as I watch successful partners, they know what they expect to achieve and manage to achieve it. They are not content with anything less and they make course adjustments through the year to make sure they hit that number. That same strategy should be used for other key metrics. I suggest you need a half dozen or so that you watch and manage against. But don't wait til Dec 15 to try and "save" the year. Now is the time to begin and to consistently do so going forward. Success is not an accident. It happens to those who work hard and have a plan. Then they execute against that plan and at the end of the year they have succeeded. It is a choice - so chose it and get to work!

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