I like simplicity. I like things to be straightforward. I like stuff that really works. And it amazes me (and frustrates me) when I see people in business forgetting the fundamentals that they did in year one (and which worked), getting more “sophisticated” and losing sight of the basics.

So here’s a tale to warm your heart…

Like all of you, Frank set himself some exciting and demanding goals for this year.

During one of our one-to-one sessions Frank said that although things were going well, he was a little behind for his big production target for the year.

OK. So what would it take to get on track for a massive year?

Well, says Frank, it would take “£x” of sales in a month to get above that big production target I set at the start of the year.

Now, that would mean Frank’s biggest month ever… and that’s someone who has been successful in the business of financial services for a couple of decades or more. A tall order.

So we set the challenge.

Next session, a month later, Frank is glowing. Did he do it? You bet!

What made the difference?

 1.  Frank sat down with the key member of his team and thrashed a few things out… several hours of getting serious about the business. And being sharp and honest about what needed to be done. Two people, a table, a notepad, and an open-minded willingness to succeed.

2.  Frank established groundrules and diary control.

3.  Frank established a simple monitoring system for recording just the most important results and which he could keep clearly visible (as opposed to some complex spreadsheet hidden away somewhere in the bowels of a computer).

4.  Frank set about the task with belief, zest, and determination.

 Over the years, I have been fascinated by the fact that those who succeed do so because they have an obsession for the facts and figures. Not the overblown detail which obfuscates the issue of building a business. But the real figures; the “no hiding place” figures; the no excuse Top-line, and the absolute bottom-line.

So, how can you do this? Be Frank…

A.  Be Frank with yourself. Don’t hide from the figures… good and bad.

B.  Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. Be Frank about what really creates the results.

C.  Measure your key result areas. Something simple and visual so you can see immediately where you are, and know what that means about what needs to be done.

D.  Focus on just a few key results you need to achieve, and generate energy around achieving them. Everything else is just “commentary”.

E.  Create a “no excuse” environment, and get the team onside.

F.  Maintain a sound diary system to maximise time for results.

G.  Have belief, determination and productive persistency.