Jump Off ! Don't Look Down!  Plan! Push & Measure!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Mar 09, 2019

It's the beginning of March, and we all know what March is good for !

022016-2stratton-mountain-resort jack 2013-Most importantly, March marks the beginning of Spring on March 20th.  Even as a passionate snowboarder, out on the slopes today, I am wicked tired of being cold this winta!

-March also measures my birthday-actually tomorrow-at which time, I will once again defy time and inch back a year or two.

quota-3-1-March marks the end of our first 25% of our annual quota.  No matter what business or university or not-for-profit you are involved with, everyone needs a quota of some sort, because if you don't have a quota that you measure yourself against, you might as well be playing tennis without a net

  • My attitude has always been that if you don't push yourself and your own boundaries, then you're just moving backward.
  • And, if you are not taking risks at the same time as you push these boundaries, the question I would ask is "just what are you doing?". 

There's no better a time of year to make these self-assessments of yourself and your work than now-in March-right at the point of measuring yourself against what you planned to during this quarter! 

  • Q1 is always a quarter of innocence.  Everyone's psyched to jump off the edge.
  • 2019 budgets and plans are still all brand new in Q1 with lots of runway ahead.
  • 3 months in, you may need to train up or trade out some of the team.

A strong recommendation for this coming week...

business_plans-11.  Pull out your 2019 Business Plan, your Sales Plan, your Marketing Plan, your Ops Plan or your Engineering Plan that you probably put together way back in mid-December as part of your budgeting. And read them again-cover to cover!   Have your Big Red Pen in your hand as you reread these plans.

2.  Send a note to the Team naming the date to get together during the first week of April for a one-day planning session aimed directly at Q2 only-at which time you and the team will do a giant refresh.  

3.  Quite simply Q2 is the most important quarter in any year.  I don't care if you're a manager at a software or a food company, a not-for-profit, or you're one semester deep into a two semester university program, I know from long experience in a wide variety of industries that the results of Q2 will mark the pace and the success of your work for the rest of the year. 

  • You now know your team's positives and weaknesses...and your own.
  • Nothing gets better by itself, so make the tough choices now to change and to invest
  • Prioritize your "Top 3 Opportunities" and drive them into Q2 Activities with metrics 
  • You don't need someone reminding you that "Hope is not a Sales Strategy" 
  • Playing "Catch Up" is not a game to be played in Q4! There's no overtimes!

I don't think that you need any help in rewriting your business plan, but if you do, you can click here and read our ebook on Writing the Winning Business Plan, which is into its 10th plus year edition, and has now been adopted by MIT as a textbook for early stage businesses.  And, of course, at any time just connect directly with me or George (george@derbymanagement.com) if you want to set up a Whiteboarding Session. 

winhall_general_store_002-resized-600Have a Great Weekend! 

The weather does look pretty good, and it's already feeling warmer than an hour ago! 

I'm off to get a breakfast sandwich up the road a piece at the Winhall General Store on my way to the hill.  

Spring's comin' ...thankfully!


Jack Derby

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Jack Derby, Director, TEC-Tufts Entrepreneurship Center
Cummings Family Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship
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Cell:  617-504-4222 jack.derby@tufts.edu  

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Tags: sales management boot camp, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, business planning meetings, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales effectivness, sales motivation, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center