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Posted: July 06, 2009

What’s your Q3 plan?

Believe that everything is possible  and then act on your pursuit

Theresa M. Szczurek

The most successful firms take action to survive and thrive, even in challenging times. Consider Rare Space, Inc., a tenant advisory services firm that promotes client success by solving and delivering solutions to their commercial real estate needs. They were doing pretty well, yet determined action was needed – they took their plan and practices to the next level to help them continue to grow. 

Create or revisit your Q3 plan – and then pursue it 

This quarter is gone. Was it all that you planned for it to be? You do have a plan, right? If so, now is the time to review your plan, assess progress, set your Q3 plan and pursue it. If not, create a Q3 plan NOW. Here are some great tips to help you get started.
Don’t be like “Alice in Wonderland.” Remember when Alice met the Cheshire Cat in the tree and asked, “Which road should I take?” The Cat asked her, “Well it depends a great deal on where you want to go?”  Alice said, “I don’t much care where.” Then the Cat said, “Then it doesn’t matter. If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Take my Girl Scout troop of 8th grade girls, for example. They love to go camping and at first did not like to plan to get there. Now they realize that if they don’t plan, they don’t get what they want.  Planning actually saves them time and energy – and it delivers the fun. 

What action did Rare Space take? 

Rare Space engaged Technology and Management Solutions, a management consultancy, to conduct a company and sales force assessment. TMS also planned, designed, facilitated and documented Rare Space’s strategic planning and execution process.  

“As a result of the time we spent with Technology and Management Solutions and the client interviews TMS conducted, we learned a lot,” said Tom Grotewold, Rare Space founder and CEO. “We now have a one-page strategic business plan that our firm actually uses. We understand why our clients like working with us, and we win more business because we know what our strengths are and what is important to creating happy clients. We meet once a week and also briefly once a day. These meetings actually solve problems, keep the communications flowing and allow us to reinforce our company core competencies, values and beliefs. We hope these benefits are just the beginning, because we now have the tools and methods we need for even greater success.”

This approach works for individuals and families as well as for-profit, non-profit and government organizations. Try it, you will like it!

Practical pointers

Use the four-stage process taken from my book, “Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.” 
•    Assess progress: How are things going? Ask yourself the tough questions. Be honest. Many companies report that sales are down, closing times are up and their pipelines are not big enough to make up for it. This is the perfect time to do a company-wide evaluation including a sales assessment. Start by taking the free sales grader. Then get some help and do a comprehensive evaluation. You will learn what to do to strengthen your sales results.
•    Find passion: Reaffirm your values and core competencies. In the intersection, you and your firm define its passion. Passion is the fuel for the pursuit.
•    Align passion with purpose: What is your purpose? Where do you want to be in 10 to 25 years? Do you have a vision? Who are you serving? 
•    Pursue purpose: This is where you establish your three- to five-year, one-year and quarterly goals. What do you need to do over the next 13 weeks so that you will be where you want by the end of the year? Establish clear metrics – what are the key performance indicators of progress? Take the plan down to what you need to do each day. For sales, determine how many call attempts, conversations, appointments and meetings are needed to get to your revenue goal. Make sure your plan is written down and visibly displayed. Establish a rhythm of communication. Have a daily huddle with your team. Check in on it at least weekly, monthly and quarterly – and track your metrics. 

Is it the worst of times? Or the best of times? 

Which is it for your company: the best -- or the worst -- of times? It's your choice. It depends on your plan and how well you are executing it.  Follow the lead of proactive companies such as Rare Space -- allow yourself to believe that everything is possible. And then act on your pursuit!

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Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Radish Systems, is a serial technology entrepreneur. The story of her last start-up, which sold for more than $40 million in less than six years, is included, along with her strategies for success, in the Amazon-bestseller Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life., and @TheresaSzczurek on twitter.

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