As the year comes to a close (less than 45 days as of writing this post!), the typical distractions that we all have to face approach. There are few people in business who don’t feel the crunch of November and December slowdowns and unless you’re in retail or e-commerce, you may need to develop a performance strategy to ensure that you end the year on a strong note.
Even if your industry does a lot of business over the holiday season, in order to assure your position, you know that you need to start marketing well in advance. Once the busy time starts you’ll be less able to get on people’s radar, much less stay on it.
Here are some great tips to help you reach your targets:
1. Engage your stakeholders
Meet with your teams to brainstorm ideas for how to finish the year strong. Ask each person to bring at least two ideas to the table and to prepare a presentation for each one. You may be surprised at the enthusiasm that some ideas are able to generate! This enthusiasm is generally a good indication of how well the ideas will be implemented. Be supportive and as a team, determine which ones will be best implemented now, and which ones will be implemented at a later date.
Transparency is essential. Encourage employees from all departments to have better communication and provide resources to do so if necessary.
2. Focus on the critical items first
Leaders must prioritize the most essential activities for these last two months of the year (examples can be related to accounting, budgets, project deadlines). Choose actions that contribute to the most success. Clearly lay out an action plan for your team, but leave the execution to them - do not micromanage (trust me....you'll be grateful you didn't step in and they will LOVE taking charge).
3. Remove obstacles for your team
A business's obstacles typically come in the form of inefficiency, lack of resources, or under-trained employees. Streamline the work process to provide the quickest, most effective results. Employees can only be as productive as their resources allow them.
You may need to hire some extra hands for the end-of-year rush, or you need to tap into any excess budget provide your employees with tools they need to work faster.
4. Begin with the end in mind
While your business is ongoing, finishing the year strong can make all the difference in your company’s strength and value. You need to keep your focus on the finish line. Set targets with an emphasis on desirability and results. The more time you spend in the planning stages, the less you’ll have for execution.
"Make decisions, then make things happen"
Time is of the essence. It doesn't matter what happened the rest of the year, you can still end on a positive note by motivating your team and working alongside them with an efficient plan. The next two months are essential for your team's success and it's your responsibility to make it happen.