By Shirley Mott, Content Specialist
Welcome to a new year! Flipping the calendar to 2017 is a blessing to some of you; you’re ecstatic to leave 2016 behind and dig into a fresh beginning. Others, who perhaps didn’t think about goals or what they should improve on, approach the New Year with trepidation.
JJR Marketing is greeting this new year with lots of excitement. A new theme, one that implies reaching new heights and growing, will guide the JJR team. We plan to “Soar the Skies in 2017!”
Those of you who follow JJR’s Make-It-Happen Director, Jackie Camacho-Ruiz, will likely understand the connection. If you recall, Jackie realized a personal dream to soar by earning her private pilot’s license last summer.
Some of you may also have a pilot’s license – or know someone who does. If so, you understand that a lot of groundwork must be finished before you’re handed the opportunity to fly high.
Think about our national bird, the bald eagle. Hatchlings aren’t born with the ability to soar. They imprint on their parents and then practice. First, the baby birds are flapping their wings, followed by hopping and more flapping. After a lot of practice, they’ll achieve vertical lift. But, they aren’t ready to leave the nest yet. Before they fledge, they’ll hop to adjoining branches and take short flights back to the safety of the nest. Only after 10 to 12 weeks of learning and practicing will they soar.
Pilots and eagles alike know that even though they’re airborne, they’re still learning. Each time you ascend, conditions can differ; you need to prepare for the unforeseen. Much like in business.
What will it take for you and your business to soar in 2017?
Perhaps you’ve already worked on a plan. If not, it isn’t too late! Every pilot goes through a checklist prior to take-off. After finding a pilot’s checklist at boldmethod.com, we’re taking liberty with their list by offering you suggestions for your own checklist.
- Check the logbooks. This means to take stock of what shape your equipment is in. Do computers need backing up? When is the last time you evaluated your service providers? Or your marketing materials?
- Get an official weather briefing. In other words, what is the current business climate in your industry?
- Make sure to get informed on new government rules and regulations. These may directly affect your business.
- Do a weight and balance/fuel calculation. This means asking yourself the following questions: Do you have too many staff members? Not enough? Are team members cross-trained so they can take over in case of emergency? Personally, do you have the “fuel” you need to complete your own goals?
- Don’t forget a performance calculation. If your employees aren’t submitting goals, or completing a yearly review, perhaps they should be.
- Familiarize yourself with everything you need to perform your best, before taking off on a new project. That means research. Learn about competitors and your target customer before mid-year performance numbers point to a problem.
- Plan for diversions. It is unlikely an entire year will pass with everything going per plan.
- Always have a backup plan in mind.
- Be thorough in your evaluations. Cutting corners is a good way to put you and your business at risk.
- Give your customers confidence. Make them comfortable with their choice by thoroughly explaining how doing business with you works. Give guarantees and stick by them.
- Make any business plan and/or checklists easily accessible to employees. Provide solutions to potential problems.
- Plan to soar – then take off! Running a business is complicated and involves a lot of crucial decisions. Reach out to team members for help. Perhaps a business or personal coach or consultant makes sense.
Go through your checklist, breath deep and taxi to the runway. You’ve got this. 2017 will be your year to soar the skies.