Are You Searching For Closure?

“Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.” – Earl Nightingale

We are almost at the halfway point of the year, meaning it is a good time to analyze the personal and professional expectations you set for yourself at the onset of the year.

Some businesses are thriving, which is a great position to be in. For those, our advice is simple – concentrate on what is working and reduce what isn’t. It’s not rocket science, but it’s important enough to mention. Sometimes success is blinding.

Unfortunately, for many, the current economic climate hasn’t promoted the growth that past years have seen, resulting in numerous businesses trailing behind the expectations they had set at the start of the year.

At Prescriptive Profits, we love to use maritime analogies. So, imagine being at sea, tasked with delivering goods from Point A to Point B in a month. On the tenth day, you realize that you’re not as far along as you should be.

If your company is in this boat, you currently have one of two options.

Option 1: Reset Expectations
Option 2: Create a new plan and execute it (Gap-Closure)

Resetting expectations is the nuclear option. It implies that the gap is too wide to bridge, and there is no plan that can be put in place to rectify the situation. If you choose to reset expectations, the process is the same as how you initially established your original expectations.

If you choose to create a new plan here are the high-level steps of how to create one.

Step 1: Evaluate the severity of the gap

You don’t know what you don’t know. Identify the gap and what metric you are using to track the gap. For our example, are you using nautical miles traveled and are you sure you are on the right course (better have brought your compass)?

For your business, is your north star guiding your revenue, volume, subscribers, etc.? First question that has to be answered is what is the gap and how large is said gap.

Step 2: Identify the symptoms

We know the gap. Now, what is causing the gap? Is it a hurricane approaching and blowing you off course? Is it you’re currently operating an old ship that is on one of its last few voyages and/or needs to be properly maintained? Unprecedented sickness or labor shortages contributing to an understaffed voyage? Combination of it all?

Identifying the different symptoms is a brainstorming exercise to help surface the hidden issues that are causing slower-than-expected results. These could be as simple as declining sales, low employee morale or inefficient processes.

Step 3: Inspect the symptoms

While not the first step, this is a crucial piece of the process. Figuring out the root cause and then devising a strategy to attack it is paramount.

It is important to get to the root cause of the issue or it will continue to manifest. Once the heart of the problem is identified, you can then make a determination of how best to solve for it.

Step 4: Implement the plan

Now that the symptoms have been uncovered and the root cause identified, it is time to make adjustments and implement the plan. While analysis is important, you do not want to get bogged down with analysis paralysis.

Make a decision, attack it and then iterate on the results, which brings us to our next step.

Step 5: Inspect what you expect

Is the plan working and if so why is it working? If it is working, can we double down on it and/or can we double down in adjacent departments or channels?

If it’s not working, making quick and decisive decisions is important here. It is most likely that you will not reach your goal at this point. What matters now is to show progress in the right direction. This progress will provide a solid foundation or the best current formula to achieve success in the next time period.

Very few things in life go as planned. There is always an unaccounted-for variable that sometimes is in your control and sometimes is out. No matter the situation, it is not about what happens, but how you react to it. Can you analyze it and develop a strategy to minimize it or reverse it to get back to plan?

The best can. That’s what makes them different. That’s what makes them the best. Regardless of if you are the best currently or striving to continue to keep getting better…

Let’s get to work.