Can you believe that 2021 is more than halfway over? If you have had a year like me, it has done nothing but fly by since the minute the calendar flipped over. If the passing of time in 2020 resembled a slug, then 2021 is a racehorse. A lot of this feeling has to do with the amazing reopening of the U.S. economy, as well as all of the opportunity that is out there right now—especially in the sign industry. In case you missed it, the International Sign Association quarterly economic report anticipates over 6% growth across the industry this year–these are amazing numbers coming out of a global pandemic!
That 6% represents so many tangible opportunities for finding growth this year for your own business. Between the number of new businesses opening, and the overall growth of existing businesses ramping up to meet pent-up market demand, there is a new market segment waiting for you. The key to finishing out this year is to maintain your focus.
You will miss out on the big growth gains if you are not focused on the top three things in your business—any more than this, and the vision becomes cluttered. So first start by making a list. Write down everything that you can think of that could be an opportunity for your business in the next calendar year.
Then, look at that list again—you’ll want to put the items in order this time from most impactful to least impactful. Those top three impactful items should be your biggest revenue and culture drivers. These three will become your business goals for the year if they weren’t already. Everything else you do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis should ladder up to these three goals and be a part of the plan to achieve them. You might be surprised how things that were previously a “time-suck” disappear from the list when you re-prioritize what is important.
Then create measurable metrics of success for these goals and individual goals for each team member to help measure their success over time. For instance, if your overall goal is to increase your business in the medical industry, you then need to create a metric to track your success. Maybe your metric is $100,000 in sign sales to businesses in the industry this year, such as hospitals, clinics or medical vendors. You would then create specific goals for your marketing team such as marketing materials produced, leads gained from your website or content pushed out on your channels. Maybe your production team would be measured against average time to complete an order or staying on schedule with installs. Your in-house customer support agent might be measured on how much they can upsell an order, the number of positive customer reviews they can drive or their number of outbound calls on a weekly basis. Whatever you determine the goals to be, they need to have a deadline and a means of measurement—that way, you can track your success.
As you work toward your goals in the second half of this year, it is important to remember that we are in a fun, public-facing business. Coming out of a year like 2020 where business was all hands on deck, 24 hours a day, we need to re-energize our teams and our customers.
At Signarama, we just set the Guinness World Record for “Most Signatures on a Banner in One Hour” with all of our owners at our World Expo event. Why did we decide to do this? Because it was a fun, energetic event that also brought notoriety to our brand. We are celebrating 35 years in business this year, and we have chosen to celebrate this milestone more than we have in the past. We learned this year that achievements are worth sharing, and spending time focusing on positive things is critical to the success of our teams. Customers also want to do business with professionals who have a proven track record over a period of time.
Take time to celebrate your wins with your customers this year and look for ways to make a big deal about the accomplishments of your team.