Steps to Keep Your Business Targets on Track

With May bank holidays mere distant memories – and the start of quarter three just 30-days away – are you hitting the figures the business needs to deliver its annual targets?

We’ve previously stressed the importance of avoiding over-complicating your business strategy by creating wieldy and complex plans – in favour of ensuring everything you need to test and measure is on a single page.

Running a profitable and effective business, as opposed to merely driving up turnover, is paramount to success. It can entail toughening up your business culture to boost your bottom line – a process which demands you review where you are in your journey as a leader, putting your management team under the microscope, being tough enough to implement the changes – and then executing the cultural change.

When measuring your performance over the last five months against the objectives set, you may need to consider doing some things differently to drive the business where it needs to be. Sit down with your top team and find out:

1. What Has Failed to Work So Far?

Search hard and deep and find out what has not worked out and, most crucially, why it has failed. Does the objective of a project need to be more clearly defined? Do you need to increase the time, resource and effort put behind the project? Or, do you need to rethink whether reaching this target is a reasonable expectation – and whether channelling the resources, time and effort behind other projects would produce better results? Define the answers and forge ahead with new solutions which will boost your business performance and sustain your competitive advantage. If you don’t know what it is, then establish it as a priority.

2. What Should You Do More of?

In my experience as a business strategist powering owner managed and family-run businesses in the US and the UK to the next level, I’ve witnessed how the least expected outcomes often produce the best results. Put under a microscope what your people have done in – and for – the business in the last six months that has produced results you were not expecting. Then redouble the efforts behind these successes, possibly at the expense of other favoured activities, and beat the year-end targets.

3. Who Should You Let Go?

Followers of team sports have very clear opinions about who is pulling their weight or earning their place in the team; the same is true inside your business. As you approach mid-year, decide who stays on the park and who goes, who lacks the commitment and the skills and are holding the rest back. In my decades of experience, far too many business leaders spend too much time investing in underperformers in the vein hope that they will improve. They invariably don’t – so avoid wasting your and your team’s resource on them. Now is the time for tough love; as Wyatt Earp said, “Nothing concentrates the mind like a hanging at dawn”.

Getting your ducks in a row for the next quarter is vital – so establish what you need to do differently to exceed your business growth target for the next quarter and ensure you increase your sales and lower your costs.

One good tip is to try the Ten by Ten Campaign. Call ten customers before ten o’clock on a Tuesday morning with one simple question: “What can we do to serve you better?” and then act on the feedback.

For help in getting your year-end targets back on track, contact me on or go to @richardwhatif on Twitter and Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn.

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