Are you following through? Think about it. When you golf, do you suddenly stop when you hit the ball? When you play baseball or softball, do you immediately put the bat down when you connect? Of course not! You follow through—because without a follow through, your whole at-bat would be worthless.
But what about your travel business? Are you setting goals and following through on them?
With any set of goals, there are three components that will make sure you are kept on track for the follow though you need to succeed.
Very few things happen overnight. Success is usually the result of incredible luck, or (more often) the accomplishment of a series of steps toward an end-goal. Break out your major goals into more manageable tasks.
If your goal is to sell another million dollars in travel, then set out defined steps to get there. Your steps may be to talk to a new preferred supplier and establish a relationship, refocus on insurance and ancillary sales. Maybe you need to find and hire a superstar with a great following.
And track your progress. You can do it electronically. There are plenty of programs or apps available for that. For me, I prefer the time-tested legal pad with a list of tasks, and a red pen to cross them off. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to see the completed tasks and an even greater sense to tear off a completed sheet.
Hold yourself accountable
Tracking your moves is a great first step. But like a batter that stops when the ball is hit, they are for naught without any follow through or accountability. We have discussed the concept of mentors on this site many times. Find one or two and use them. If there are no mentors, solicit the help of a friend to help you keep on target.
A good friend and I are both small business owners—he is in marketing, and I am in, well, travel-duh! We sit down each month and what looks like a “chew the fat” meeting is really a strategy session. We discuss what each other is doing, planning to do, and more importantly—how we are going to get there. We talk about what works and what doesn’t. We also talk about our successes and our failures.
In a word, we are accountable to each other. Find someone to fill that role for you.
What type of presentation do you prefer? One with pictures and charts and a few words? Or one with page after page of words? If you are like me, the visual one is much more pleasing. The visual one will likely have you leaving the presentation retaining more of the information—or at least the important parts.
When I owned my retail offices, we had branch goals, individual goals, and company-wide goals. Each month, we advanced the ponies (yes, it was set up like a race track) for sales. We pitted agent against agent, branch against branch, and ultimately the company against—you guessed it, the sales goal laid forth in out marketing plan. While not designed to embarrass, no one wanted to be too far behind the pack, so it kept everyone motivated and on track.
Personally right now, I am trying to lose a lot of weight and it is working. Another friend suggested a visual—two mason jars. I filled one with the number of marbles equating to the pounds I wanted to lose, and the other was empty. When I lose a pound, I move a marble from one to the other. It is my visual accountability. When I see it (and the “to lose” jar is still larger than the “already lost” jar) I am motivated to get on my bike and go for a ride!
You can come up with any number of visual aids to keep you on track. The key is to make it meaningful and fun.
Personally, I love setting goals. With the New Year coming (yes, I said that and went there), maybe it is time to start thinking about yours for 2014. Think big and swing for the fence—but make sure you follow through.