Archive for the ‘The Red Sox’ Category

CEOs of Small to Mid-Sized Businesses – Take a Page out of Belichick’s Playbook

September 22, 2016

Summer is over. Fall is officially here.  While at the end of August and into early September, I yearned for a ‘Little More Summertime” as Jason Aldean sings. But within a short time frame, it feels good to be back full throttle in the ‘regular routine’; the work groove is back!  The Wall Street Journal had a great recent article about how September is the Real New Year. While the article focuses on getting one’s act together personally, the essence of the article applies to us as business owners.  Now is the time to clean out clutter in our businesses, focus, prioritize and plan.  We are in a productive time period and those who act will be better served than those who stay in summer mode too long.

PlaybookSo what does that mean for your business? What resolutions should you be making and committing to?  

Learn from Patriot’s Coach Bill Belichick.  While a man of few words in a post-game press conference (nearly painful to listen to), but his words of wisdom after Game 1’s win with Jimmy G as his starting quarterback were words of wisdom for any CEO/President/Business Owner this time of year:

“That’s the way to come here and get the job done,” Belichick stated. “And I’m telling you, we won the game in the meeting room, on the practice field, and in the walk-throughs. It just didn’t happen today. It happened all through the week. That was a great job.”

Belichick’s Playbook Simply Converts to 3 Key Components:

1) Build a game plan.

2) Implement a game plan.

3) Execute a game plan.

We all know that Bill and his management team have a game plan.  They have a Plan A, B and C. Fortunately for us as Pats fans they do have a plan: when the star quarterback is suspended for 4 games, they have a Plan B. When Jimmy G goes down in the second quarter of last Sunday’s game against Miami, they have a Plan C. Lots of questions this week about a Plan D – do you think they have one? I would bet on it!

So Take The Playbook and Apply it to your business:

  1. Do you have a game plan? If not, you have to kick-off your Fall season right here. We have all heard it: Failing to plan is planning to fail.  Get a plan in place.  Not for the sake of having one, but for the sake of prioritizing, establishing clear alignment and defining resource (human and financial) allocation.  You needed it in place yesterday so make the time NOW to get this done. The plan should include:
    • Goals and priorities for the rest of 2016? You should have a company plan and then each major functional area should have its own plan to support their role in supporting the overall goals. (Think special teams, defense, offense or marketing plan, sales plan, manufacturing plan etc.)
    • Define biggest challenges.
    • Develop a plan to overcome these challenges or workaround them.
    • Define metrics and milestones to measure progress along the way.
  2. How is implementation going? If you already have a plan in place, start here.
    • Is it being effectively implemented? Test yourself – are you sure?
    • Compare your business to the Patriots: pre-season, meeting room preparation. practice fields and walk-throughs. Is your business skipping important steps in the preparation (think sales meetings, think conference/event planning, think product launches, factory shutdowns etc.)  The Patriots leave no stone unturned in their preparation. be thorough. Pay attention to details. Don’t assume the details are covered. Discuss them openly and have contingencies mapped out and practiced – literally.
    • Is your team ready? Are they in shape? Do they know their roles? Do you have talent gaps? Training issues? Injuries (think vacations/sick leave/unfilled positions)
  3. Executing the plan.  If #1 is in place, and #2 is solid, then focus your Fall Resolution on execution.
    • Get your key team together to watch the films (aka review results and performance); what is working? what needs to be tweaked? Where are the weaknesses?
    • Be sure to involve the key people in your organization. Define action plans with clear timeframes to implement and ways to measure the effects of any changes to the plan.
    • Rinse/repeat. Revise and review.

Fall is here.  Personally, many people are back at the gym, committed to losing weight, updating their resume, volunteering for charities, cleaning out closets etc. As a CEO/President/Business Owner, tap into the energy for the benefit of your business to position your company for a productive, focused Fall season (and beyond). There is a certain rejuvenating spirit of cooler temperatures here in New England to leverage. Harness your team and the key business advisors you rely on to grow your business. While a man of few words, Belichick is a master at wisely having a plan along with surrounding himself with experts in their respective areas. This approach can and should be leveraged by business owners to surround themselves with talent to build, implement and execute according to plan (even if sometimes it is Plan C vs. the desired Plan A) It has served the Patriots well and served us well as fans.  Go Pats!  Go Red Sox!  Go Small Business Owners – Fall is here – get your head in the game and plan to prosper!

A Marketer’s View of a Crazy Month of June

June 26, 2014

iStock_000002980903Small - blur time passing quickly

How can next week be the 4th of July? It is amazing to me how fast the month of June passed, but when I think about what occurred in the month it is very clear to me why it was such a blur.

The following 5 events and efforts highlight this crazy month of June:

1. College visits – we hit the circuit of the latest round of college visits hours after my son’s junior year ended. Two moms and “two rising seniors” on a flight to Philly to see 5 schools in 2 days. And the winner is…Drexel University! From the moment we entered the admissions office, Drexel wins the marketing award for having the clearest sense of who they are, for being consistent across all touch points of who they are, for a solid and well thought out value proposition and for offering a real sense of value. Kudos to Drexel University! Excellent video, excellent presenters, fabulous tagline and excellent tour group leader and they even followed up with a survey to get feedback. Great job!

2. Client Event with the American Red Cross – I am a planner. In all aspects of my life I plan. I know it is a strength and a gift to my clients, but I also know that life can be overly planned and structured. I get that. When it comes to planning client events, my team is an A team. We document, plan, update and ensure that all items are well-planned, communicated and executed well. When a client event is planned with a large national organization such as the American Red Cross, we assume they too have their plan defined and under control. That was not the case. They were fragmented, bureaucratic and ‘loose’ which is not how we operate. Fortunately up to 72 lives can be saved with the blood that was drawn the day of the event, but we know what could have and should have been. Live and learn. We move on.

3. Boston Red Sox Pitcher Jake Peavy and client event – what a highlight of the month! I am a HUGE Red Sox fan and have been since I wanted to marry outfield Reggie Smith back in the early 1970s! (so no, I have not recently jumped on the bandwagon just because they won some trophies!) Jake Peavy is our designated player this year for Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion and he was able to join us. What a tremendous person! I so enjoyed meeting him and a highlight of my month was him letting me try on his World Series ring. See facebook for the photo!. Thank you Jake for being so gracious including your heartfelt conversation with a war veteran who had served 15 months in Iraq. Thank you Luke Peavy for helping to make this happen – so great to meet with you and chat with you. I am confident the Red Sox will turn it around after the all star break.

4. Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity – the Builders Blitz from June 9 – June 14th! Wow what a week! It truly takes a village of wonderful people to plan and execute on building two homes in 5 1/2 days. There are hundreds of people to thanks and dozens of companies to name who made this week so special. The good news is there are many great people in the world who want to give back and help others. The two families who will call these two houses “home” each have five children. It was an incredible week and thanks to so many who made this so worthwhile and special including The Eagle Tribune, Rumba, North Shore Magazine who helped cover the event and spread the good news of Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity. I owned the marketing efforts – signage, t-shirts and PR. As part of the team and as a board member, it was a fabulous week. Now if I could only be seen in some of the press photos 😉

5. Client work – yes the month still included client work. The common themes were content creation and lead generation. Our efforts to generate leads for our clients continued strong with clients consistently acknowledging that lack of leads was not their issue. FMM clients had more leads than targeted! Unfortunately the common issue is sales working the leads effectively to convert them to revenue. Another big focus in the month was content creation – specifically content for a client leveraging Thomas Net as a generator of leads. Note to anyone investing in such listings – secure a proven marketing partner to ensure your listings are accurate, thorough and complete. Investing in such a listing may make a lot of sense but if you rely on the folks at such a company to understand your business and present you clearly and correctly, you are likely mistaken and wasting the investment. Don’t risk relying on strangers to write your marketing message. Get it right and you will get better leads.

June was a blur. I expect July will also pass quickly, but I hope the first week last 3 weeks! Summer is officially here and the 4th of July is upon us. Looking forward to some downtime to recharge the battery that is running a bit low.