Today is Groundhog Day. According to legend:
It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.
If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.
If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.
Do you have a Groundhog?
The famous Punxsutawney Phil emerges every year to predict what the weather will be like for the following six weeks. Phil is the official prognosticator. He analyzes the current conditions and makes his expert assessment of the short term forecast.
Your company needs a groundhog. Not a furry little mascot. You need someone who:
- observes the current business situation
- systematically evaluates business status
- outlines what the future holds
- repeats this process on a regular basis
You need to step back from your day-to-day grind and take a look at how your company is doing. Give it a checkup and take its pulse. If you’re a small business it may be easy for you to do this all by yourself. You become Punxsutawney Phil and observe the situation with finances, customers, manufacturing, and marketing. In larger companies, you may need a group of Phils to get this job done.
When you stop to examine your company’s health, you need an established system for measuring its performance. Keeping accurate records will help you compare today’s business with business last quarter. Do you see trends? Do you have some goals that are driving your decisions? Evaluate your performance against these targets.
Predict the Future
Based on your evaluations, you’re ready to predict six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Take the key metrics that you’ve gathered and see where your ship is headed. You should be able to determine how business will look over the next few weeks.
Schedule Your Groundhog Days
You company will fail if you only stop and evaluate once a year on Groundhog Day. You need to plan for regular business status checkups. These could be every week, month, or quarter. Keep on top the changing marketplace with weekly snapshots of your business. You can always dig deeper for monthly or quarterly reviews. Knowing the state of affairs will allow you to be prompt in responding to problems.
Eliminate Your Shadow
You want your groundhog to leave his hole on a cloudy day. This would mean spring is here and your company is doing great. Unfortunately, he sometimes sees his shadow and wants to crawl back into his hole. Business is bad and tomorrow doesn’t look much better.
Your observations and short term predictions may be glum but the future doesn’t have to turn out that way. Take control of your future by making changes today. You can force spring to come early through your innovation, hard work, and perseverance.
Happy Groundhog Day!