As we enter into the final month of 2014, I have a few questions about your business. Are you on track to hit your forecasted sales projections? What have you done throughout this year to ensure you are on track? Have you corrected for the misses, and have you been able to duplicate the hits? These are just a few simple questions, but I would implore you to take some time to look back at your year and see what you did right and what went wrong. I often suggest that key decision makers for a company take a full day to stop everything and review their year. This is not always (actually very seldom) met with acceptance or enthusiasm, but when you break it down it is just under .4% of their time during a work year. One day out of 260 days; eight hours out of 2,080 hours. Broken down that way, it’s pretty silly not to dedicate the time to review your year. How else will you be able to make the changes or improvements to your plan to ensure a great 2015? Assuming you have a sales forecast, start by reviewing it on a month by month result. If you don’t have one, that’s a much bigger issue and something that needs to be addressed for 2015. How did you do against your monthly numbers? Did you have months that were better or worse than others, and were there any seasonal reasons for the differences? Take a look at your staff and if you added or lost anyone. How did that affect your numbers? It is also good to note any change if you implemented any sales training during the year. After breaking down the numbers, take a look at your people. How are they doing individually against the sales forecast? Does anyone need training or coaching? Have you found top performers on your team that can lead others? If you brought on new team members, what was your on boarding process and did it work to plan? If you lost team members, was it because of poor performance, lack of skills, or did members leave because of lack of engagement or motivation? Finally, look at the collateral support given to your sales team. Do they have what they need to succeed against your sales forecast? If you were a potential customer, does your marketing, website, and collateral material convey your value proposition? Do you have the staff needed in support of sales? What are you missing that could help reach your goals? Hopefully today’s blog will give you some “cause for pause” and get you to spend a small amount of time to take a hard look at your business and what you can do better in the coming year. Don’t wait until December 2015 to see if things are the same or different from this year. Review everything, analyze everything, and determine what changes need to be made for next year. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Happy Holidays everyone!