Throughout July, and now as August is starting, I’ve found myself in conversations with many clients about the second half of 2015.
“We’re down a bit from 2014, but the second half of the year is usually stronger so maybe we can make up the difference.”
“We’re having our best year ever. I just hope we can keep up this pace.”
“We’ve just launched a new product, and it if it launches well it can really help make 2015 a great year.”
At Yastrow and Company, we’re in a similar position. We are having a great year, and we’re very focused on maintaining our momentum for the balance of the year.
What kinds of things should we all be thinking of to make the second half of 2015 a success?
Focus on the most lucrative results
The first question to ask is “what are most lucrative results we can achieve this year?” Every company’s resources are stretched (aren’t yours?), so it is important to focus your efforts on the results that can mean the most to your company. For example, look for untapped potential to increase the business you receive from:
- Certain customers
- Specific market segments
- Prospects that have the best chance of turning into paying customers
- Products with the most chance to sell
Identifying the most lucrative results will help you direct your efforts and scarce resources in a direction that can have the most impact on your 2015 results.
Who are the customers that can help you achieve your results?
You don’t create your business results. Your customers do. For you to have a successful second half of 2015, you need to motivate customers to act. For example, your ability to generate results depends on encouraging customers to meet with you, share information with you, consider your proposals and offers, buy from you, buy more from you, pay your bills, refer you to others, etc.
Focus your sales, marketing and service activities
Knowing who your most important customers are, and what you want them to do, can help you focus your sales, marketing and customer service activities on motivating the customer actions that can most impact your results. Let this be the guide for all customer communication– focus less on “getting the word out” to the marketplace, and more on motivating your most important customers to act in ways that will help you make 2015 a winning year.
Keep a measured glimpse on 2016 and beyond
As 2016 approaches, you’ll naturally start evaluating your success again, so allocate a reasonable amount of attention and effort to longer-term issues. What you will find is that many of the issues you will need to focus on in early 2016 are continuations of the issues you need to focus on in the second half of 2015, so rest assured that a concentration on near-term issues does not sacrifice the future. In fact, you’ll be even more ready for 2016 if you finish up 2015 strong.
I have so many ideas, and so many people I want to meet with. If I don’t focus my attention, it could be easy for me to spread myself a mile wide and an inch deep. Don’t do it! Say no to activities and requests that don’t fit the process described above. It’s difficult, but by keeping your “eye on the prize” of a strong 2015, you’ll be much more likely to keep yourself, and your company, focused.