The Hills & The Beach

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

derby managementNot yet a good day for walking on the beach, but there's less snow today than there was last week, so there's a bit of hope around the corner that this winter is finally coming an end.

Time to put away those shovels in the hills, get organized and start focusing on the spring at the beach.

I was snowboarding Saturday in the semi-rain, and walking on the beach on Sunday-also in the drizzling mist. In the spring, it's always a balance, or maybe better said, an imbalance. It's been a great season snowboarding on the hill this year, but due to a very busy work schedule, this has been mostly a season of weekends and holidays-far removed from my 100 day season a few years ago.

But at this time of year, with the infamous Vermont mud squishing up everywhere, the snowpack finally melting after completely blanking out the bottom floor windows for most of the winter (like living in an igloo), and the doves returning to the feeders on Saturday for the first time this year, it appears that spring cannot be too far away.

And just in time. The woodpile is down to four, maybe six at the most, fill ups of the trusty stove. Most of the shoveling equipment is either broken or lost somewhere under the remaining snow. My thoughts are just not in the winter game anymore, which is the reason for retreating to the beach last Sunday to do some necessary proposal writing and to shift the gears in my head out of the mountains and down to the wet sand. It's time for some new adventures.

The beach for me and my wife renews the spirit. Shakes off the grey of a very long winter and makes the clinging snow melt even that much faster-even if it's just in our heads. This particular spring looks to be a bit crazy with trying to balance the big clean up chores in Vermont (It's been a tough winter for the trees deep in our woodlot) and figuring out how to moderate our continuing house renovation plans and not duplicate last spring's personal contribution to increasing the NH GDP.

The beach on Sunday, other than the signs of disappearing snow still clinging to the sand, was almost normal. For me, I was on cleanup patrol, trash bag in hand, dealing with the after affects of the onslaught of too many winter storms which have taken their toll on our pristine mile long beach. One of the hardier homeowners, bundled up against the 40 degree temps, actually had her beach chair out on the sand with her book propped up by her surrounding blankets. I thought that she was dancing on the edge, and that it was still way too early, but then this is the Live Free or Die state.

Bottom line, spring is out there somewhere, closer than before, and just maybe, we'll escape this winter without any more big snow. For me, my first signs of spring are always attending the U.S. SnowBoarding Open next week at Stratton, collecting fiddlesticks for soup along our country road in Vermont, watching the first sculls crunch through the disappearing ice on the Charles and searching for the popping crocus heads on my weekly walks across the Tufts campus.

Spring also means that there's a lot going on at our company, where we're deep into the design of our new website launching in late April, a host of new lead gen activities along with a herd of new customers-all gearing up for what we're planning to be a solid year of growth. In a year where we've seen a fair amount of inflationary pressures beginning to bubble up among our customers in the areas of management compensation and energy costs this quarter, revenue growth is going to be an absolute requirement in Q2 and Q3, always the most critical quarters of the year in our book.

Enjoy the spring (hopefully out like a lion and all that) and Keep Selling!

At this time of year, most of us are working on our sales and business plans for the balance of the year. As a result, we put together two detailed documents to help you through what is sometimes a difficult process.

The first is an easy-to-read 2011 Tactical Sales Planning Guide. Hope you find it useful.

Our second document is the 2010 edition of "Writing The Winning Business Plan". A 10 year work in the making, this 75 page book will undergo a major rewrite this summer and be released on our new website, so if you have any edits, comments, examples or stories that you want to be included, let us know.

You'll find these and more valuable tools in our Solution Center.  Hope you find these useful, and any comments and edits would be greatly appreciated.


-and the rest of the managers on the team-

Jan Olmstead: Marketing & Customer Voice Surveys,
George Pilla: Early stage interim CFO
Frank Porter: Operations & Manufacturing
George Simmons: Finance, Sales Optimization, Senior management

Tags: sales tools, business tools, business planning, business coaching