Archive for May, 2011

The 5% Rule

Posted by admin under Branding, Growth, Running a Business

Do you matter? When your customer looks at your place in the community, state, and world, do you
show up on the radar? Building your position in the minds of your customers is key. Building your
position in the minds of your employees is vital. Building your position in your own mind is critical.

We live in a place so covered with advertising messages that you can no longer afford to be “just
another business” to your customers or anyone else. If you aren’t near the top, you are on the compost
heap. If you aren’t taking steps to grow into the best company you can be, you have a one-way express
ticket to the bottom.

So what are you going to do about it?

Start by using the rule of 5%. Ask yourself, “If we were to improve our business by just 5% this
quarter, what would we do first? Where would we start?” Then go to work. You can set your own
benchmarks to get there, but get there. It doesn’t sound like a large number, but if you set a goal that
is easy to reach then harder goals become more reachable. Don’t set your sights too low, of course.
Stretch yourself and try to be the best company you can but don’t aim for anything less than 5%.

The funny thing about 5% is that it has a domino effect. You will be surprised at how much MORE
your business increases than just 5%. Usually, those little things that you have been putting off are the
foundations for much bigger operations. They are the building blocks of your company’s future. That
means that one of those little details on your to-do list may move you farther than you ever dreamed it
could.

What is on your 5% list?

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, that’s for sure. It takes hard work, discipline and effort to
live the life of freedom you want. But what about those days when you just can’t get started?
What do you do to keep moving when the aches and pains catch up with you and every bone
in your body is telling you to climb back in bed? How do you get your head back in the game
and push yourself to do more?

1: Routine. Never underestimate the power of habit. If you have a routine you follow to
the letter every morning then you’ll be up and going without even thinking about it. Forming
an automatic routine can take anywhere from 30 to 66 days. So for the next 60 days or so
make a commitment to yourself that you will do the same things in the same order every
morning. Get out of bed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, get dressed and go to work. Every
day it will get easier to jump out of bed in the morning.

2: Exercise. If you’ve spent any time around serial entrepreneurs then you’ve probably
been given a lecture about the importance of physical fitness. On top of keeping yourself in
top shape, daily exercise also stimulates serotonin, the “feel good” hormone in your brain.
Get moving; it will make you feel better!

3: Take time for you. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day details of running a company
and one major reason for burnout is that entrepreneurs tend to forget to take time for
themselves. There’s a classic quote from Abraham Lincoln that says “People are just about
as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So make up your mind to take some time for
yourself. Read a book, have a good meal, get a massage, or just play with your dog/cat/kids.
Even half an hour here and there can make a huge difference.

4: Mark Your Progress. Setting goals in business isn’t just important but is also vital.
Along with setting goals, it is important to have milestones set up along the way to mark
your progress. It is always more fun to go to work when you feel like you are accomplishing
something.

5: Get Some Perspective. Go outside and take a walk. Get some fresh air, breathe
deeply, think things through and let your mind wander. Sometimes all you need to feel
motivated is just a short break.

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