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How to End 2017 with a Bang How will you execute in the remaining 90 days so that you leave behind the losing experiments, focus on what works and accelerate what's winning

By Santosh Kanekar

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You are reviewing your calendar rejecting the 10th meeting request.

You see the date it is October.

"Wasn't it just yesterday as 2016 was coming to an end and 2017 beckoned with all its promises?" you muse.

"Wasn't it just yesterday you were jumping around shouting "10, 9, 8" as the clock struck 12 am Jan 1st 2017?" "Wasn't that night.." ok stop, you hurriedly stop your thoughts as it might go into embarrassing memories.

You look back at 2017, nine months are over, and soon 2017 will come to an end.

A lot happened, some wins, some losses — overall a great game for your business. But, can you do more?

This is the last lap. Will it be different than all the laps until now?

How will you execute in the remaining 90 days, so that you will have a podium finish?

Here's how:

1. Check the Goals you Made for 2017

When the year started, you had agreed on the high priority goals with your team and your investors. Answer these key questions for these high priority items:

  • Are you on track to deliver them?
  • If yes, can you accelerate and do more?
  • If no, can you accelerate and catch up?
  • What is needed (time, resources) to deliver it?

The business may have tried many things, but by refocusing on what is most important, we bring the future forward.

You don't want to sit in a boardroom or investor meeting explaining why the goals were not met.

Do the review now. This will also help you in identifying the critical parts of the business

2. 80-20 Rule atleast 65-35
Most businesses end up with the 80 rule. What's that?
80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. I have seen that atleast 65% business comes from 35% of your customers. It's time to find out who they are and nurture them assiduously.

Make sure you are delighting these customers as they are the lifeblood of your organization. They are critical to your achieving your numbers and growing your business.

Make sure your sales team is focused on them and not chasing butterflies when there are elephants to be tended to

3. Ramp up the Experiments Which Worked

When you started the year, you must have planned innovations in product design, channels or UX.

How are they working? Find out the ones, which are scoring high on your test parameters.

If they are generating the right user reviews, driving costs down and/or increasing the net promoter score, ramp up these "experiments'.

Drive more of these across channels and customer sets so that you will get good results across the spectrum.

4. Put on Hold the Experiments Which Did Not Work

The converse is also true. The experiments which have not worked or did not meet your parameters, put them on hold if not kill it.

Get the team behind what works so that you can re-direct the resources to what works instead of what does not work.

It is possible that people will be attached to these failed experiments or there might be this feeling, "give it some more time to work." Sure, next year.

Right now you have to deliver this year with a bang.

This constant weeding out also makes sure that your ecosystem has the "survival of the fittest' mode especially towards the end of the year

5. Press the Pedal on Execution
Execute, Execute, Execute.
When we come down to planning for 2018, we will wear our thinking and planning hats. Till then it is execute all the way.

As a founder or CEO, you must set the pace for execution. Talk only execution. Be seen celebrating execution. You know what has worked and what has not in this year. Get behind your and your team's energy, time and focus on executing the big wins and make them bigger. The track ahead may be a bit slippery, but the rains have stopped.

You have a clear idea of where you want to take the business and what speed you will take it to the finish line. You press the throttle as you come racing out of the pit stop. You have got to press the pedal on execution The finish line beckons and the Podium awaits you. Go!

Santosh Kanekar

Startup Mentor, Leadership Coach and Author

Author of Stop Reset Start, Growth Rocket Launcher, and Leadership Coach, Santosh Kanekar founded BeLive Corp, which advices many Global Hedge and Alternative Funds based in New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong. He regularly advises Startups on Business Planning and business acceleration.

He has coached hundreds of individuals and businesses to deliver high-performance results and launch their own Growth Rocket.

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