Conference Implementation Secrets
10 Things To Avoid Information Overwhelm And Ensure Results in Your Business
Business owner, Jack Clean just came back from a conference and he is so excited about all of the ideas that he doesn’t know where to start. He doesn’t want this conference to turn out like all of the others where nothing gets implemented. So, I have a game plan for Jack…and you too if you also find this one tricky. Here are 10 things that I do to make sure that my investment in educational conferences pay off.
- Pick 1-3 goals, and an action plan. When you leave a conference your mind may be swimming with hundreds of ideas, and those ideas can quickly turn into “overwhelm”. To avoid paralysis pick only 1-3 goals, and create an action plan of how those goals will be accomplished. If possible you should pick your goals within 48 hour of leaving the conference while stuff is still fresh in your mind. Like with any action plan, your plan should include measurable goals, and deadlines. Remember the difference between dreams and goals is planning.
- Create a master plan spreadsheet. I love a good spreadsheet. All of your thoughts all in one spot. My spreadsheet after a conference will include an ideas page, a goals page, a to do list, a needed skills and resources page, pages for details on some of the goals established, and an inspirations page to record what inspired me to want to make changes.
- Techniques are good, but your goals should focus on strategies. It’s easy to be impressed by techniques or tips that you pick up from a conference, but don’t be so swayed that you forget to incorporate those tips into solid strategies that will mobilize your company. For example, a recent tip that I got at a marketing conference about marketing during the order process, wouldn’t be nearly as effective if I didn’t also absorb the sales strategy that made that tip effective.
- Decide on a 15 minute daily task. We are all too busy. So, it’s unlikely that you will arrive home from a conference and be able to spend hours every day implementing…but adding in 15 minutes a day, most of us could do. The last educational conference that I came home from I dedicated 15 minutes a day to writing marketing copy and the result was… boosting up my ezines to weekly distribution, a new web page, and publishing more articles every month…and that all adds up to more business! Also the task of thinking about marketing every day kept me focused on my goals.
- Automate your implementation. Whenever possible make your implementation automatic by delegating specific tasks to employees or outsourced services. For example, if you came back from your last conference with a goal to do some internal marketing for your employees, you can automate that by assigning your office assistant to create an employee bulletin board that he/she is to add something new to every Monday.
- Plan to test. Where do your big plans turn into has-been ideas instead of reality? If you are like me it can be because you work hard towards a goal initially and then you run into a big pot hole in the plan and you start to doubt whether or not the plan will work, and then divert your efforts elsewhere. You CAN avoid this! Just know that you will have to “test” your ideas before fully implementing. If you hit a road block, that just means a failed test, not a failed system. So for example, if you come back from a conference and plan to start a direct mail campaign, send out only a few hundred of your first mailing as a low cost “test”. Keep testing and tweaking your design/copy/recipients, etc. until you get the results that you want, and then blow your wad on a big campaign.
- New inspirations go on a future plan. Another biggee that keeps people from implementing is constantly changing their plans to meet new ideas. Don’t worry…it’s not your fault…you can’t help it… you are an entrepreneur. Blindly racing into the fire to chase new ideas is what makes us successful business owners, but when it comes to implementation we need to reign in that energy and stick to the plans that you originally made. How I calm these new inspirations myself is to keep a “next phase” plan (a great page for master plan spreadsheet), and that is where all new ideas go until implementation of the old ideas are complete.
- Put your blinders on. While you are implementing your new ideas you may need to “not play nice” for a while. If you are tackling a really big project it may be necessary for you to take a week and ignore clients, employees and all of the constant needling of day to day business. Definitely when planning to sell my business I lost a few customers due to lack of attention, and I felt badly about that, but at the same time I had to make a choice between pleasing everyone and accomplishing my goal. The benefits outweighed the loss.
- Get a coach. A business coach is someone who can help keep you be accountable, offer ideas, identify road blocks, redirect you towards your goals, and get you there faster. You can hire a professional coach, and sometimes even make an agreement with a colleague to be your coach if they are willing to make a commitment, and be honest with you.
- It’s not a question of “can” you do it, but “will” you do it. Never allow yourself to say “I can’t”, instead replace that with “I won’t”. Everything is possible! Given all of the pluses and minuses I give myself permission to decide that “I won’t” do something because the sacrifice is too great, but never to say “I can’t” do it.Renee O’Brien, founder of SharpChip Consulting, is a writer, speaker and consultant that helps cleaning business owners increase profits, reduce stress and get more time off. Visit www.yourcleaningbusiness.com and sign up for her FREE “ScrubPro News” weekly ezine for simple, fun strategies to quickly transform your business into self-running profit machine right now! She’ll also send you her FREE Audio Class “Beyond Payroll: Employee Benefits & Perks”, including 29 Instant Ideas for Creative Incentives for your staff.