Have you looked back yet this year?

Nov 15, 2018 | Anne's Blog

It’s November – a good time to look back at the year to date and recognize the progress that has been made in your business.  Absolutely, definitely, without question, ‘improving profit’ is about increasing that number at the bottom of your profit and loss statement.  It’s also about making sure how your business works improves, and that includes having the right people on your team, playing their best positions.

Earlier this week, I was working with a client and we were reviewing the progress that’s been made this year, and it’s been a massive amount.  After believing for years that a particular employee was critical to the operation, the owner finally realized that this employee was a cancer on the organization and needed to be removed.  She became confident enough in herself and the rest of her team to remove the cancer.  What happened then?  Her business health started to blossom like a flower.  Everyone feels better.  The atmosphere is one of camaraderie, mutual respect, productivity and  dare I say, fun.  Backstabbing and sniping has left the building.

Think this change improves this business’ profit over time?  Without an iota of a question.  Have there been other huge accomplishments made in the year?  Yup.  Including an enormous project to bring their bookkeeping back inhouse and make their P&L not only accurate, but also usable (remember my previous email??).  Gigantic accomplishment that puts the business in line to truly soar in 2019.

But wait, there’s more — the little (solar system sized understatement) project of relocating the business to a new location, with the attendant build out required for this company in the pharmaceutical field with a retail store front.

All these accomplishments at times felt like complete disruptions.  Well, progress doesn’t happen in a straight line — it’s more like the stock market line that goes up and down, but on average over time has risen.  So it is often with your company.  Progress can be freaking painful sometimes and full of bumps.  And then you emerge out the other end and smoothness, ease and calm return.  When that happens, whatever you do, remember to look back at where you and your business were before.

My client has made truly ginormous changes this year and the bumps haven’t yet completely smoothed out (the relocation project is still in process), but from my perspective, the biggest accomplishment was making changes to her team.  Why?  Because it has changed the atmosphere from one of ‘every employee for themselves’, to a true team, and that change cannot help but improve the bottom line.  And there is a real leader now in place whose confidence is miles above where it was a year ago, and, equally important, is a much calmer version of her former self.  Think that makes a difference?  Yup.

It’s November which is a month incorporating Thanksgiving.  It’s a terrific time to take a look over your shoulder and see how far you’ve brought your business this year.  And then pat yourself on the back multiple times to acknowledge your progress.

Happy Thanksgiving!