Labor Day’s just passed and the the 4th quarter for 2013, like this year’s football season, is upon us. Has your YTD competitve standing improved, declined, or stayed the same? Are you hitting your business plan targets? It’s fairly easy to assess: have your number of customers and sales revenues held steady or increased? Are you driving toward a bottom-line win? If your business results are up, stay the course. Do your fine tuning where it’s needed, but your focus should mainly be on executing those key strategies that are already working and will have the biggest impact on full year results.
If results don’t measure up, carefully, but quickly, determine why and where you need improvement. What can you realistically do better or different. The good news is the traditionally robust 4th quarter is when business activity is greatest for most every industry. So you have the opportunity to get back to your goals if you make the appropriate operating corrections and can drive more business to your door. Presumably, your central strategies are still in order and you largely need tactical adjustments. Now is not the time to be defensive about how you’re right and the market is wrong. It’s great to be your company’s biggest cheerleader, but you will benefit more by being your toughest critic. As former Oakland Raider football coach and owner Al Davis famously said “Just win, baby!”. You have the time you need to make 2013 a winning year by having a strong 4th quarter playbook.