What are your sales trends in comparison to last year? An obvious question you might think , but it is surprising when I ask people how many of them do not know how the business is doing in comparison to prior years and against budget.
Having said that my previous business partner always complained that she hated numbers, but when I quizzed her about what was going on she would be able to explain how we were doing and more importantly, where there was a potential shortfall and what we needed to do about it. I do not advocate measuring by a gut feel but it does help not just to have a few key figures at your finger tips, but also have a feel of where the business is at, what risks there are and how you are going to fill the gap, between where you are and where you need to be.
If you do not have a clear idea of how you can fill the gap it is worth brainstorming how you can fill the gap. The key with brainstorming is not to challenge, analyse or criticise as you go through, but just to scribble down the various ideas as you go through. I is usually helpful to do this with others as you can often build on ideas that others have. One thing that is important is to pose the question as being clear about the end result… this is what we have committed to in this particular area and then force the subconscious how we are going to get there ( as opposed to asking our mind ” What can we do”. if you start with the certainty that you will achieve the goal and then trigger the subconscious to come up a solution it is much more productive at being more creative in its solutions. It also helps to trigger the creativity by challenging yourself on something everyday. It also helps to train your brain by challenging it at the same time every day.