Spring has sprung! And you might be feeling a renewed sense of energy with the plants coming back to life, brighter sunshine and warmer air. But Spring can also be a good time for springing your business forward. It’s a perfect time to brush up on skills. Sports teams take this time every year for Spring Training, so why not join them?
If we aren’t careful, we can easily get into a rut, and sometimes we get on the treadmill and forget to look at the basics. But, like a baseball team does after the off-season, when we get back to the basics, we can reignite our energy and actually improve our skills and results.
Why? Because every great team player knows Spring Training improves year-round business. That means your business, too – not just MLBs! Early effort means payoffs later.
First, let’s start with you.
Take a look at your personal brand. Is it working for you? Are you living it? Do you need to brush off some of the dust and remind yourself who you are and what you stand for? Get back to the basics of personal branding by following a few of these steps:
- Make a list of your values. Are you living those values as part of your brand? If not, make a change!
- Consider all the facets of you. Are you consistently living your brand in all those areas? If not, what do you need to do differently?
- Do a brand audit. Ask a few trusted friends, family, or colleagues what they see or hear when they spend time with you. Are the things they’re telling you what you WANT others to think about you? If not, make a note of what you need to tweak.
- When is the last time you looked at your business’s SWOT analysis and compared it to your brand? The two should work hand-in-hand. Your SWOT and your brand are leaving, breathing strategies – not stagnant, leave-it-and-forget-it documents.
Next, think about your most essential skills.
Have you gotten away from some of the activities that you know make you successful? Have you fallen into a slump with client calls, referral requests or follow-ups? It’s time to revisit the skills you already have, brush them off, and improve them, so you’re ready for your next sales opportunity.
What makes any team better? Skills development and practice. We’ll grow and be more prepared for what the future holds for our team. Sign up for a class, listen to a podcast, run some role-playing with a colleague. Just get moving!
Now is not the time to take spring break (like a lot of people do at this time of the year). This is the time to hone your skills so that you can have a great season. So use this time to reach out to new people and follow up with contacts. If you aren’t busy making sales, get busy connecting with your network. Call them up. Send a video or an email. Show them appreciation. Ask how they’re doing. Offer them some value. Not only will you get practice connecting, but your outreach could also bring a home run.
As the great Yogi Berra once said, “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.”
This is also a great time to brush up on leadership skills.
Managers and owners-what are you doing to level up your own skills? How are you leading by example with your team during Spring Training. You can hire a coach, attend a conference, read books-there are tons of ways to learn how to be a more effective leader, and it shows your team that learning and growing are valued in your organization.
This time of year is when so many people are taking vacations, but if you use your time wisely and take the opportunity to practice your skills, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when your prospects and clients wake up from their winter slumber. You, and your team, will be ready to play ball!
Grow Big or Go Home!