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Why not go to WORK while you’re going to work?

Don Eaton, owner of Eaton Farms

Don Eaton, guest blogger

“Hey, you’re going to work anyway,

why not ‘go to work’ while you’re there?”

Try this approach to work for the next 30-days

Guest Blogger – Don Eaton

The difficulty you and I face every day in running our businesses during these worrisome times can be overwhelming to say the least.  In many instances it seems as though we have little control over what actions we take or directions we head. This may be true in many areas of our businesses, where we are forced into reaction in place of action. If your anything like me, this becomes very tiring and can wear you down especially when we give in to foolish worry about what is to come, next year or even years after that, foolish worry about things out of our control or our ability to effect change.One solution is apply our energy to those areas where we can effect change, apply ourselves to the sound basics of managing a business. The place to start may be as simple as ‘going to work’. Going to work today and focusing on doing your best today will produce great results today and eventually tomorrow as your efforts build upon each other. Day after day of  ‘going to work’ will do amazing things for your business.

Going to work means much more than just showing up. Going to work today means clearing your desk of those tasks that seem to drag on and on, it means completing your daily responsibilities quickly and very well, giving those responsibilities the time they require to do them well, after all they are on your desk for a reason. Going to work means spending ample time with team members to make sure they are focused on today and meeting their responsibilities to the best level they can. Going to work means providing yourself with the time to do what you do best for the company, whether sales, marketing, production or planning.

I have begun to make sure a larger part of my ‘going to work’ plan involves simply focusing on the next 30 days. Yesterday I provided my team with some detail on what would make the next 30 days a WIN for business. Behaviors, numbers and actions that would support a good month that supports a good year that supports the next year and the future.  Business is built on one day at a time, one win at a time, one month at a time and before you know it, you may have 12 WIN months in a row having a good year.

Leadership now more than ever must provide CLARITY, imagine if we had a little of this right now in our country! It is important for you as a leader in your business, in whatever role you’re in to continue to trust your instincts, stick to principles and at times ignore your critics. Providing clarity in today’s marketplace can be a challenge for sure, but providing clarity for the next 30 days is much more easily accomplished. Take the time this week and provide your team with the definition of WIN for the next 30 days. You’ll soon find out your team will rally around these small day to day, month to month wins!

Here’s a good place to start in defining a win for your business in the next 30 days, in addition to the usual sales goals, try to count the number of times you overwhelm a customer with service and product. Imagine what would happen to your business if everyday your customers were overwhelmed by your products and services.

A little retail market detail to share; sales of luxury goods are expected to grow 12% in the USA next year and get back to 2007 levels. Now these numbers relate to jewelry and such but I think we can expect see to sales of higher ticket items to grow.

For the Christmas season, retail sales are expected to grow by 2.3%, according to one survey. Doesn’t sound like much, but it is much better than the declines we have been living with and it supports what I think we are all seeing, that just maybe we have been through the bottom? Overall in the retail world, 47% of CFO’s are forecasting increased revenue, you know what that means, 53% are not!

I think the one report I read offers some insight that we all need to take note of.  After the last 2 or 3 years of expense cuts and other operating cuts, these new low levels are simply not sustainable. Many are now becoming increasingly concerned about the damage caused to their core business, the damage to the brand. Like most of you, I have been cutting expenses wherever possible and at times have even enjoyed the process, amazing how much fat we all can gain over the years in operations. These operating cuts have begun to show up here and there as maybe being too deep and we have begun to restore some of these along the way.

Keep your eye on your brand, your market position and your services provided. Be on the watch for when your operating cuts may be doing damage to your business and make the needed adjustment. For many, right now what may be the worst thing for business is for business to return to normal!

Leave a comment with what you think.

Don Eaton is the owner of Eaton Farms, a wholesale nursery exclusively supplying independently owned garden centers. Don@EatonFarms.com

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5 Responses

  1. I think we forget sometimes that not everyone is motivated by 3-5 year plans. Your 30-day goals are a very appealing way to break longer-term objectives into achievable milestones people can relate to. Frequent small wins can boost productivity and energy.

  2. Dear Don,

    I thank Sid for allowing you to speak. I do not think your thoughts are out of the ordinary or unreasonable to achieve. Thank you for sharing them.

    Staff need assurances of the future and a worthy goal to hang their life on. These assurances should be reinforced every day they are working if not by the owner then their manager. Perhaps I am wrong but I believe in general not enough time is spent on coaching in business. Quarterly, yearly, and even monthly reviews of the business and the staff are not often enough. It should be an on going conversation that developes every day with the seven to ten staff you directly supervise.

  3. Good thinking Susan and thank you for commenting. You’re right. It is also true that many of those who are motivated (or drug into) making a 3-5 year plan do not implement even the first 30-days as if it matters.

  4. What I get from Don’s piece is that, as owners, we sometimes permit ourselves the luxury of a less-than-rigorous work routine. We all agree that we work hard but do we work well? Sometimes a bit of adult supervision would be in order.

  5. Steve, It’s funny how the use of luxury in the short term leads to the lack of luxury in the long term.

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