This past Wednesday, I started to see a few hundred downloads of my ebook on "Writing the Winning Business Plan", and then a few hundred more on Thursday, and already early this AM, lots of detailed questions from readers. Then I realized that it's that time of year that new students in the MITx course on business planning were gearing up, and this is a core read. The book is also used in my own teaching every fall at MIT in the ME course taught by Dr. Chun, who asked me 21 years ago if I could assist in teaching a few business principles to his undergrad and grad students. That exciting experience, which continues every fall at MIT, also led me to the opportunity to teach at Tufts 16 years ago.
Whenever I can, I start the day with a run on the NH beach. This is a picture from Wednesday morning. Yea, I know! Some of you right now are asking...
"Does NH really have a beach?"
And the answer is 14 miles of pristine ocean and sand with some of the best surfing in NE. This is where I and my brothers grew up as kids, and when our mother wanted to get rid of us, she would tell us to go out and find beach glass and bring her back a present. Decades later, I still look for beach glass.
The #1 or #2 issue we hear in all of our 2022 planning sessions this fall is the issue of the difficulty to find and retain talent.
It is what it is, and we can debate for hours why it's occurring and the surrounding theories of the inflation impact on the economy. but the reality is that...
- it's here, it's been here for 12 months, and we all see and read about it everywhere.
- it's real, not a bubble, and it's not going away in 2022; maybe in '23 when the world flattens a bit.
- this is a fundamental shift in the future of work, what represents "the office" and lifestyle
- we need people now, onboarded and in place in Q1 if we're going to make out '22 numbers
From all of our 2022 planning sessions, what follows below are five non-prioritized tactics that you might want to think about. Connect with me at any time, and I can walk you through any of the details, or just be a sounding board for best practices.
First, and most importantly this morning is to congratulate you on finishing the Q on plan!
I never use the word "hopefully on plan", since "hope" has no place in today's fast-paced environment of Sales or Marketing. It's always great, of course, to be "lucky" every once in a while, but that's like hitting Powerball last Wednesday night or hoping the Patriots win this Sunday, so I'm going to stick with congratulations for finishing the Q on plan!
It's already the third week of my classes at MIT where I teach business planning and marketing, and at Tufts where I teach classes in Marketing and in the "Science of Sales". We're now ready this coming week to jump from knee-deep-testing-the-waters-concepts to full immersion in the reality of my methodology of teaching "Process-Tools-Technology-People & Math" and wrapping those mechanics into the practice of Sales and Marketing.
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As you know, I love Vermont and spend about 30% of my time working from there with more time on the weekends doing what every Vermonter does: shovel snow, rake leaves, tend my woodlot and plant gardens. Plus, every time I'm there, including this weekend, I always take some time out to admire the unique beauty of Vermont by walking down to the river or just looking across to the now-turning leaves on the other side of the pond just up the road a piece.
Six generations of my family before me were born and lived in this same valley, and although I call myself "a Vermonter", I always leave out the fact that I was born and lived my early years in a tough neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Maybe I'm "a-kind-of Vermonter" since I've lived in this same valley for 50 years, but I do know my place in that I am not "a true Vermonter". Those are Vermont Rules!
Summa's over, kids are back in school, vacation days are behind us until the end of the year, and we're back at it moving at 100mph, working hard, fingers in the crankcase oil, making sure the machine works perfectly between now and December. Different from Red above, for me personally, September through December is always the most exciting part of any year, and especially this year:
Tags: sales coaching, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camps, improving sales productivity, Tufts ELS program, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, writing business plans, freedom
Just before we jump into the deep end of the pool next Tuesday, it might be worthwhile to think about approaching this year's planning season by looking out over two horizons and dividing your business plan into both the first and second halves of 2022.
My relationship with David goes back a decade plus when I fell across his iconic The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which, for me and my students became our bible of change. Now having written its 7th edition, David always continues to rapidly evolve and extend that misunderstood word "Marketing" from what we used to think about marketing and PR to now the the colliding worlds of Content Marketing, Podcasting, Social Media, AI, Live Video, and Newsjacking. For me, I've always followed the most simple definition of Marketing, which I learned from my other folk hero, Regis McKenna, in his ageless HBR essay Marketing is Everything, which when one does not overthink this word, "marketing" is just an exceptional definition.
For me, it's been a superb summa' even given this weekend's hurricane, the heat of August, the rains of July and the unsettling anticipation of what lies ahead when we return/don't return to offices and classrooms in a couple of weeks. After all...it's the summa, and no matter who we are, or pretend to be, every summa brings all of us back to memories of time off from school, the rigors of multiple jobs, loves started and hearts broken, and always the anticipation of gearing up for the faster, more demanding time of September. And this September accelerating into this Q4 will not be any different !