Recently I went down at the HTG Summit
in Dallas—four days of deep dives
into my business, my colleagues’ businesses and training sessions related to
becoming a better businessman. The free sharing of ideas is what draws me most
to these events, allowing me to really learn more about our industry and business,
and do my best to enable my business to go forward.
The Summit itself, however, is only
the end of one cycle of preparing. I wrote a commentary
piece earlier this year about quarterly goals, and this is the first “check
in” on that process. Here’s a little insight into how we try to organize our
business to have that rhythm and heartbeat of the business.
Every quarter has goals that are determined. Ideally, we’ve laid out our
one-year goals and are looking 12 months ahead to know where we want to go. (This
is the intention, even if we don’t always hit it!) With that 12-month
direction, we’re targeting the 3- to 5-year destination, assuming that the 12-month
plan provides the tactics to get us moving correctly toward our long-term goal.
To make these goals more tangible, we present our quarterly goals in our
internal staff meetings, which then are broken into monthly, weekly and even
daily steps. If we’re doing things right, daily and weekly movements are
just small steps in our plan to hit the longer-term goals.
Since the goals are vetted both internally by staff and externally by my HTG
colleagues, it gives me a pretty good sense of where the business is going to
go, and it communicates it effectively with the team.
Adding to this is an emphasis on metrics. Each goal should be measurable, and
we determine what steps we need to get there. We pull our metrics from our
financials and from our PSA tool, ConnectWise, and ensure we know how we’re
doing. With a simple glance at my office dashboard, I know how our service team
is doing, how much billing we need to do, how busy my sales team is, and any
Finally, we layer our financial metrics on this to see if we achieved our
goals, and what we can do to improve beyond this. Our HTG group fully
participates in the Service Leadership Index benchmarking process, which we use
to compare ourselves.
Does this seem like a lot of planning? Absolutely. It’s a time
investment, but without it, how would we know how we’re doing? If you don’t
plan, you’re simply planning to fail. With all this, that doesn’t mean we
aren’t afraid to take a risk and try something new, but we should know why
we’re doing it.
HTG simply brings the structure to a forefront. By planning, we’re making
intelligent decisions about what we want to do, and by consulting with other
colleagues on a regular basis, we get the benefits of that collective
intelligence and can make course corrections as needed. The investment of
energy in other people’s businesses also drives enthusiasm, and gives us people
to turn to when we need it. It’s a labor of love.