The 1% difference

Harry Welby-Cooke.
Harry Welby-Cooke.

BUSINESS owners devote much of their time and energy to cultivating a vision for the future of their businesses. But the gap between current reality and the dream can sometimes seem insurmountable.

What if, in order to move ahead, a businessperson needs to learn how to do something completely new? Or what if it requires more money than is currently available? Hurdles like these can make a goal appear unrealistic and unachievable, and can stop people before they even get started. Achieving big goals also often involves large risks and can feel overwhelming.

To mitigate these fears, a large goal feels far more manageable when it’s broken down into smaller parts.

If a business owner were to set a goal to double their revenue in a year, that would appear to be a huge leap. But the best way to achieve this is to break the goal down into smaller chunks. Something as manageable as 1%.

If a company’s annual revenue is R1-million now, doubling that means an additional R1-million in sales, which seems like a big gap. To make the goal feel more achievable, it can be broken down into 1% increments. One per cent of R1-million is only R10 000.

A year has around 260 working days so, 1% of that is three days. If a company’s average sale price is R3 400, the sales team only needs to make one more sale a day to make R1-million more that year.

Breaking a big goal down into smaller pieces helps shift the mindset of leaders and staff who begin to feel that the vision for growing the business is achievable.

A 1% change in the right direction, maintained continuously, will build on itself and staff will stay motivated.

One step at a time, a business can be built to become something significant. Much like with impressive buildings that are constructed one slab or brick at a time, a business can be transformed and grown one sale at a time. And, valuably, when the many 1% goals add up and staff and business owners reflect on the enormity of what has been done, the sense of achievement is extremely rewarding and helps people stay motivated for future endeavours.  

* Harry Welby-Cooke is the co-master franchisor for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa.

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