Decide Today for Tomorrow’s Success and Growth!

In today’s world, it is vital to complete tasks that not only fulfill the needs of the present but will serve as building blocks for reaching your long-term goals.

Living in the moment isn’t the way for an entrepreneur to move the business agenda forward. Plans don’t just fall into place because you make them.

When you think about your long-term goals, consider what provides your agency with advancement and success. Then think about what might hinder your future growth – for example:

  1. Will I have enough assets to make it through a business building process?
  2. What will my cash flow look like this time next year?
  3. What is the ultimate result?

When making decisions today, make sure they are achieving both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are those that have the immediate effects on your business.

Decisions that impact your long-term goals are those that ensure your business survives both today and will still be running ten or twenty years from now.

I have known agency owners take a ‘sit back and see what happens’ approach to decision making. Most of those agencies have either closed their doors or are now struggling. No matter your choice in your decisions, you are taking charge of your destiny.

One example that comes to mind is an agency I worked with through an acquisition. This particular agency bought an agency with an entirely different business model and culture than their own. The questionable decision was not the acquisition. We did successfully merge the two companies into one business model and culture – both groups adjusting so as to meet in the middle.

The short sighted decision was when the owner decided to use much of the capital investment made for the acquisition towards office expansion – specifically $50,000 for hallway artwork and $10,000 for branded M&M’s. The reasoning made was that this helped everyone feel more comfortable with the new culture and environment. Even with that justification, this was clearly a short-term goal decision with no thought of the agency’s long-term goals of being in business and long-term financial health.

While you live in the present moment, remember that the choices you make today will affect your business tomorrow.

Don’t Communicate to be understood. Rather, communicate to not be misunderstood.

Recently, while working with a client, I could not help but think about the irony we face in this Industry. We are in the Communications business, but when it comes to communicating with each other, our clients and our vendors, we lack both skills and talent.

I see this issue at almost every shop I walk into.

The first part of our series “Keys to Effective Communications,” starts with successfully beginning a conversation.

The first step to improving our communication is not to communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so as not to be misunderstood.

While this seems counter-intuitive, it is a pivotal piece to effective communications.

People want to know three things before they are willing to opening enter into a conversation with you:

1. Is what you want to talk about going to be painful?

2. How long is it going to take?

3. When you finish talking, what do you want from me?

If they don’t know these three things up front, they will make excuses to avoid you in person or avoid talking to you on the phone. It is simple; people always want to know the exit to the conversation before they feel safe engaging in it.

So for example, if you are calling a client, the very first thing you may want to say is: “I know you are busy, so I will only need one minute of your time to let you know about __________.” This way they know it will be quick and painless and that you just want to give them a few facts on the call that will only last a minute. Now they can relax and listen to you as you share the described information. Had you not explained if the call would not be long and painful, they may try to make an excuse that they can’t talk right now, and be distracted during the conversation.

The Same advice applies for approaching your boss, manager or another employee to set up a meeting. Let them know if it will be painful, how long it will take and the result you are asking for – they will be much more apt to schedule a time for you.