Time for YOUR Kick Finish

We all know the concept of a kick start. An extra effort to get the machine going. Then again, there is the kick finish too. Although we don’t put it in those terms like we do a machine we do talk about a “kick” at the end of a running race. That extra effort to dig just a bit deeper and drive toward the finish line. NOW is a good time for YOUR kick finish.

While I’m not sure what fiscal year you follow, I do know that 12/31 is coming soon. If this is the end of your fiscal year then it makes even more sense to find your kick, now, so the results are in before 2013 ends. Even if the results of your efforts are delayed, you get out of the blocks faster in 2014.

The first thing about this effort is you want to use it to rally the team. Post a scoreboard and make the results visible to all. There are so many things you can measure depending on what part of the organization you are working in. Sales can track calls or closes. Ops can track production. Accounting can track accounts receivable. Leaders can track how many employees they meet with to share the vision. You get the idea.

This time of year is usually the time that companies send food to clients. I did that once, just once. I remember going to a client office and seeing stacks of food, nuts, candy, sweets, etc in the break room. Yes, mine was there amongst the bunch but I’m pretty sure the exec had no idea I sent it as his assistant simply took the package, opened it and put it in the break room. Far better to write a personal note, by hand, and send it as thank you for the business. In this case I wouldn’t send it as a Christmas Card, there are way too many of them, start now and send a Thanksgiving Card saying you appreciate the business OR a New Years card saying you are looking forward to a new year of business. In this day and age a sincere thank-you that is written by hand goes a long way. Forget the card and go visit clients with nothing on the agenda except to see how they are doing and to say thanks. I did that a few weeks ago. Always a positive experience when you see a customer but you don’t have your hand out for more money. If you do want to do a gift make sure it matters to the person you are sending it too. A classic vintage of wine for a oenophile would be ideal

Get 2014 started now. Annually I buy a “bottomless cup” card at Brueggers Bagels. For $180 I get a free soda or coffee every day. Considering I go a few times a week for breakfast I easily end up with a 100% ROI. But they make the deal even better. If I purchase the card now, as I just did, it kicks in right away so I get a few extra months of free soda. For the analytical readers you might be thinking that isn’t a big deal since I already have the card and get the year free anyway. The renewal is redundant at that point. True, if I always went alone but I often have a child with me so until Jan 1 I get two free drinks.

I like this idea so I offered it to clients in my last newsletter and say it again here for those that don’t get/read the newsletter. Book now for 2014!. Do you need to use money from 2013 before you use it. No problem, like Brueggers, you can pay me now and I will give you the soda, and do the work, in 2014. I am doing a similar offer with my new interactive, virtual training system, www.firestartervt.com for supervisors – like the commercial says, “who doesn’t like getting free money?” The VT system is new and I invite you to check it out, you can do free demo without even talking to me. How easy is that?

Let’s take a moment to check out the cost side of the business too. Maybe sales aren’t where they were supposed to be. What changes have you been meaning to make? And if you are hesitant to let someone go now that the holidays are here maybe you can put the plan in place now so you are ready to execute on Jan 2 rather than starting to plan on 2014 and waiting until February to make the changes. I just reviewed my recurring credit card transactions and found a couple of hundred bucks a month, A MONTH, that were redundant or simply no longer required. Do I really need the online backup for a PC that I stopped using 6 years ago and have had two new ones since then? Like the saying in Washington DC goes, a few billion here, a few billion there and pretty soon you are talking a lot of money. A few hundred a month adds up too.

I can procrastinate with the best of them. We all do it. This kick finish is a great way to get over some of your procrastination and delay tendencies. It is an even better way to make a positive and measurable impact on your organization while using precious little cash to make it happen.

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"As a result of the session you delivered to my group, using “No Yelling” as the guide we have experienced an exceptional start to our 2009 construction season. Safety as usual is paramount, and our production rates have exceeded even my high expectations. There has been a positive shift in ownership from all that attended, which leads me to believe we could have the same success if we did the same kind of training with our front line labor force."

Bob Peeke
Construction Manager
Alberta Highway Services Ltd.