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a blog by Chris Barrow

When is a target REALLY a target?

A client emails me this morning and asks whether a 3% increase in sales and profit is a realistic target for 2011? The problem is that if you target 3%, 5%, 10% or 20% – nobody does anything differently. The success of your business in 2011 will be dependent on external factors – the economy, the weather, the future of dentistry, the mood of the nation. That doesn’t sound too good right now does it? If you target 50%, 75% or 100% – EVERYBODY in your business realises that they have to do something radically different. Success is predicated by what you do internally – new brand, new marketing, new products and services, new location, new equipment, new people. Dan Sullivan calls it “creative destruction” and even suggests a 1000% increase in target to really get your mind working. That may be a little excessive for most BUT there is an important point here. We both know that a modest increase in target will be written down in a business plan, filed and forgotten. If you, like me, are struggling through this week and thinking “bloody hell, here we go again, another year of grafting” then its an indication that you may not have set your sights high enough. Question: “As an absolute minimum, what would have to happen to grow your sales and profitability by 50% in 2011?” I dare you.

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