If you’ve ever been to a business conference, you likely know the “camp high” of motivation and determination to change your business and move it in a better direction. You know that as soon as you get home, you’re going to conquer the mountain in front of you.
But what happens?
We do nothing.
I’ve done it. I’d be willing to bet you have too. It’s crazy, 97% of the people who take in content do nothing with it. 97%.
We spent our time and money to be a part of those events, why do we let our takeaways slip away? The answer here isn’t anything revolutionary. It’s sort of like weight loss, we all know how but when presented with a taco, I’m going to take a taco…. Back to the post…. It comes down to a few simple things that are the difference between a wasted conference and changing our business.
Have a plan.
Have a Plan
This one is pretty obvious but it is incredibly difficult to execute. This is what will make or break your execution. If it were as easy as sitting down and writing out a “map” of next steps, we all would have done it but we know it takes a little more than that. The key is reverse engineer your goals by figuring out where you want to go and backing into your next steps.
Identify the areas you are inspired to change. Be specific.
It’s really easy to be “generally inspired” but we need to turn our general inspiration into specific action. To do this, let’s write down the areas we want to tackle first. Maybe it’s your culture among salespeople, inventory control, or improving your open to buy. We want to avoid things like “grow my business”, “be a better boss” or any of non-specific thing.
If everything played out perfectly, what would it look like?
This is getting in your time machine and identifying the traits of what your accomplished goals might look like. Using my previous examples, this could mean you have a culture of friendly service and hustle with your salespeople, maybe you are using a new POS to all it’s advantages as well as using its reports to make better decisions about your business, or maybe you are going to market every season with a clear plan of action. Assuming everything happens, what would it look like?
Now that we know the end, what would be the first 2 steps to take?
Rather than look at the mountain, let’s focus on the staircase and only look at the first two steps. Not worrying about accomplishing the larger task, set some specific small actions that can be taken today. Yes, literally today. If we were talking weight loss, maybe it’s not joining the gym or creating a huge meal plan, it’s going for a walk and ditching the bun on your burger. It was a small action that moves us in the first.
Using my previous examples:
Employee Culture: Take a few minutes to notice where your team is doing a great job and do something to affirm their actions.
Inventory: Do a spot count of an area in your store to see how correct it is. Reach out to us and see if there’s a system that could be put in place pretty easily.
Open to Buy: Run a few reports around sales by category and inventory turn to create a basic buying plan for your next season.
It’s not about the grand plan, it’s about identifying the best “next steps” and beginning to do something.
Ultimately, that’s going to be the difference between your success and failure as it pertains to executing your inspiration. Were you able to take your general inspiration and turn it into specific action? It all starts with doing something. It will be hard, it will be messy, and it might not work but you will have at least tried.
Streamline Retail is a consulting firm for independent retailers obsessed with helping retailers adopt a better process and better tools to grow their online and brick and mortar business. We also love tacos, as previously mentioned.