|Reaching That Goal!|
Hello everyone and welcome back. We hope you had a great Christmas, however you celebrated the holiday. At the end of the year, we enter a time of reflection upon our previous years accomplishments as well as directing our thoughts to what we would like to accomplish in 2014. The tradition is to start each year with New Years Resolutions. This has become almost a joke as so often people will make grand resolves and by the end of January they will have thrown in the towel and have gone back to their old habits. What I want to examine today is how to turn that resolution into an accomplishment.
There are two things that are most likely to cause a resolution to fail. Those things are unrealistic goals and inadequate planning. These two factors go hand in hand. The more difficult a goal is to achieve, the more planning will help to reach those goals. I am not suggesting that you limit your dreams. I AM saying that a challenging goal will likely not happen unless there is a plan in place to achieve it.
When goals are considered, experts recommend that they be both attainable and measurable. What is attainable will vary depending on your situation. For example, for a small company that was run as a part time operation in 2013, that is planning to go full time a 100% increase in profits seems pretty reasonable. That would be miraculous growth for a large established operation running a fleet of of trucks. The first thing is to consider what you want. At this point, go ahead and let the sky be the limit. You may find yourself with a few things you would like to make happen. Once you have pondered what you would like to make happen, stop and consider if it is a realistic option. If so, you are ready to begin planning. If not, consider breaking your objective down into its various parts. If 100 percent growth is an unattainable number, what about 50%? 25%? Sometimes the hardest part of attaining goals is setting them in the first place. Once you have determined what results you would like to see then it is time to work out a strategy.
|One Bite At A Time!|
I would suggest staring by looking at how many days there are in the year to work with. On the average, there are 260 business days a year. You might need to take a few of them off so lets keep the math simple and work with an assumed 250 day business year. Next we need to take our desired goal of 20,000 dollars and divide that number by the number of days we have to get it it done. So 20,000 divided by 250 is 80. That means you will need to do 80 dollars worth of business a day to reach that number. Another way to consider the problem is to take the increase you are hoping to see, and divide THAT by the number of days. That shows us that we need to do 40 dollars a day increase over our daily figures for last year.
Now obviously the example I am using is likely much less than your own personal goals for next year but the method is the same. We have taken the too large to ponder number and broken it down to a far more easily attained goal (yet we haven't changed the main goal at all). Now that you have a more manageable number, it is time to consider what can be done to get there. To grow profits, you really have two choices: increase income or reduce expenses.
To increase income you can raise your rates or you can do more calls. Of course, you can only raise your rates so far and there are only so many hours in the day. At the recent Regional Service Meeting the subject came up in the round table discussion of interruptions by phone calls as guys were running their service calls. It was suggested that, in many cases, it would make financial sense to hire a part time entry level employee to take those calls and schedule them so that the tech in the field could concentrate on the job. The suggestion was that if you were to follow this approach it is possible that you would free yourself up enough to more than offset the cost of the employee. That would be another way to increase income. There are lots of ideas that may be other ways of increasing income, or reaching your other goals that you can come up with.
Another way to increase profits is to reduce some of your overhead expenses. If you find yourself going to a job twice, once to diagnose and once again with parts, you are in the perfect position to reduce your expenses by making sure that you have enough inventory on hand to fix most breakdowns on the first visit. Other expenses that can be addressed involve warranty service. If you are running calls for a warranty company at less than profitable rates, you may gain some customers as a result of that relationship. Make no mistake though, if you are doing these call at a loss they are really an expense. Can you negotiate a better rate or run cash calls instead? There are probably dozens of small expenses through the day that can add up as well. Any of those expenses that can be reduced help your bottom line.
|Little Bits Add Up|
As you can see, there are many ways to reach the goals you set for yourself. The important thing is that you set those goals and work to achieve them. You will probably have some days where you just don't reach that daily goal you have set for yourself. When that happens, don't be discouraged and give up. Each day is a new beginning. Start each day focused on your goals for that day, and work to achieve them. By the end of the year, you will find yourself in a much improved position. One bite a time.
Thanks to all of you for your help in letting me achieve my own goals for 2013. W.L. May Company, and myself, would like to wish you all the greatest success in 2014. May all of your goals be reached-whatever they are and how ever you strategize to get there. Good luck!
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