How To Build Momentum In Your Business

| Published by Mark Akerley under Newsletters |

A rough scientific definition of momentum is “a mass in motion,” a force. Momentum is also a business force, and can be described as a series of successes. Political candidates and sports figures talk about it all the time. They see it as a necessary force and a requirement for winning. In the business arena, however, we hear less about it; perhaps because it doesn’t fit neatly into the prevalent leadership and management models touted by management experts. But regardless of where and how it’s talked about, it’s extremely important, especially for those companies that want to change or grow. So how do you build momentum? Here are a few tips that will help.

1. FOCUS ON THE SHORT TERM

If you need to build momentum, now is not the time to be adjusting your company mission and long-term vision. You need to be asking “what can I do now?” That is, today, tomorrow and next week that will give me immediate wins. So make your daily to‑do list with specific and actionable short term objectives, not long-term goals that equal a win for you and your company. For example, making two more sales calls, adding three pages of copy to your book draft, meeting with your team to resolve that tough issue – all today – are simple short-term wins that will lead to increased momentum. Always ask yourself what can you do to get a win today?

2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO BITE-SIZE CHUNKS

Hitting homeruns is great and is a terrific strategy if you have the talent and resources to do so. However, hitting several consecutive singles can be just as effective. For many companies, the best way to build momentum is to break down those BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) into manageable and actionable wins. For example, if your goal is to be the premiere provider of widgets in the U.S.A., perhaps you should first start by being the premier provider of widgets in the Midwest or maybe in Illinois or maybe in

Chicago. You get the picture. Build your image and reputation one customer at a time, hitting a single every day, and then see how those individual wins lead to even greater ones.

3. QUANTITY FIRST

I know every business leader is dedicated to quality, as well they should be. But sometimes 80 percent is all you really need to get things rolling. For example, if you have two alternatives; No. 1 – you can get a perfectly designed product to market six months from today or No. 2 – you can get two 80 percent acceptable products to market by the end of the month, the latter will give you momentum, a quick win. Another product the following month and perhaps another to follow that, i.e. a focus on quantity, will most likely be far more beneficial than getting to market six months later with the perfect product (as if there is such a thing). Ask yourself what have you been tweaking and revising, and not finishing, that you can get to 80 percent right now, and make it a win?

4. RESULTS NOT ACTIVITY

Once again, business momentum is a series of successes. It’s not about style, effort or positioning (although these too can be important), it’s about winning. It’s important that business leaders clearly define their expectations of all who work with them and what outcomes are acceptable for results. For example, adding 12 more sales reps to the field force is a clear expected result – versus an activity of increasing the sales force by year end. An even better result to gain momentum would be to add one new sales rep per month for the next 12 months. What specific success do you want to achieve today, tomorrow and next week?

5. DO IT NOW

Building momentum requires a sense of urgency, perhaps even a dose of healthy paranoia. So if you believe that a series of successes will provide the momentum for even greater success in your business, you better get working on it now. Start small. Focus on completing one thing at a time. Get it done and move on to the next. An old cliché of course – “just do it!” You’ll be happy you did.


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