It is January 2011, which means that the holiday season is officially over, and reality has set in. If you’re in the cash flow business reading this article, then I’m sure two of your New Year’s resolutions were to land more deals and increase your business, right? Well, there’s no better time than the present to start buckling down and taking the first few steps towards earning those commission checks.
First of all, it’s important to take the time to research and create new cash flow business goals for the year-then make sure that you meet those goals. I try to keep a few of these principles in mind when setting new goals:
Reflect on 2010.
Analyze your objectives from last year, and work on setting new goals that focus on what you would like to do better this year. Whether last year was a lucrative one for you or not, it’s still a good idea to take a step back and analyze your cash flow business before you set goals for the next year. What worked really well for you and your business last year? What didn’t work out as well as you had expected? What could you have done better? This cash flow information will help you organize your business plans for 2011.
Visualization is key.
Write your cash flow business goals down, and put them in a place(s) where you will see them frequently. Putting your ideas on paper surreptitiously turns them into something concrete, which means that it will be harder for you to forget about achieving them. Also, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable and time-bounded. For example, instead of saying I want to land more deals, try writing down I want to land five deals in the first quarter. Be sure to put your cash flow business goals in a place where you will see them often (i.e. the bathroom mirror). Trust me, it is much harder to forget something if you see it in writing every single day.
For some, this might mean setting smaller goals along the way to accomplishing your bigger goals. Breaking down your overall cash flow information into bite-sized pieces can make your overall tasks seem less daunting. For others, this may mean taking the time to reward yourself after you have effectively met each goal. Taking the time to celebrate your accomplishments will help you stay motivated to be successful in your next task.
The more you know, the more you grow.
Take some time to examine current trends in the cash flow industry, and especially take a look at the trends in your area of expertise. For example, if your specialty is factoring, take the time to read up on any cash flow news for that industry. Of course, Cash Flow Exclusive is a great place to start. The cash flow information in the magazine is written by people who have experience in their respected fields, and the articles are packed with worthwhile and useful information. In addition, the International Factoring Association’s (IFA) web site (www.factoring.org) always has the latest factoring industry news.
Build a supportive network.
Another way to help you stay focused on your 2011 goals is to put together a support team with people that you can go to for cash flow information and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to reach out to more experienced cash flow consultants and/or factoring brokers for guidance and advice. Try to find a mentor who has worked in the same area as you. Talk to them about their experiences, and learn what they did to become successful. In addition, there is a wealth of opportunities to connect with lenders and other cash flow professionals on the popular social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Remember, we all want you to succeed in this business, so don’t be afraid to ask for cash flow information when you need it
Put it all into action.
Check off your cash flow business goals as they are completed, start watching your cash flow business grow, and start preparing new goals. The physical act of crossing off a goal after you have completed it will definitely solidify your feelings of accomplishment. After you have finally reached your goals, you will be able to see the benefits of them right away as your cash flow business becomes more profitable. Then it’s back to round one again-creating new cash flow business goals and new ways to reach them.
Taking a step back at the beginning of every year to evaluate your company’s progress is one of the best ways to ensure the future success of your cash flow business. It forces you to take an active role in developing a thriving company. After all, how can you expect to move forward if you don’t take to the time to study where you have been?
**Reprinted from the January 2011 electronic issue of Cash Flow Exclusive.