5 Mid-Year Check In Tips for Private Investigators
2012 is flying by and as July 2nd, the exact halfway point in the year, approaches, it’s time to look back at the past six months and consider how your private investigation agency is living up to the business goals you set in January. At the end of 2011, PInow gave you resolution tips for your private investigation firm to help you set reasonable and achievable goals for 2012. In late January PInow posted a more detailed guide: grow your investigations business in 2012. Hopefully these articles helped you set some goals to help your business grow this calendar year, and to help you determine how well you have stuck to those goals, we’ve developed a mid-year check in guide.
Here are 5 mid-year check ins every private investigator should conduct:
- Mid-Year Check In #1: Your Business Resolutions:
With 6 resolution tips, private investigators were given an outline of how to come up with realistic and reachable business goals for the year. With half the year almost behind you, it’s time to revisit those resolutions one by one and see how well you have adhered to each of those changes. It’s not unusual to be extremely successful at some and not-so successful at others, or even to discover that your resolutions were overly ambitious. Make sure you applaud yourself for those resolutions you have kept and start coming up with ways to recommit to those you have struggled with.
- Mid-Year Check In #2: Your Goals:
Included in your 2012 business resolutions should be overall private investigation agency goals related to revenue, business development, community involvement and marketing. By this time of year you may have decided that you set one too many goals or that a few of your goals were too far reaching. Determine what goals you are on track to accomplish, which ones you are not and take a look at what you can realistically accomplish in the remainder of 2012.
- Mid-Year Check In #3: Your Revenue:
By comparing short term and long term revenue goals with the income your agency has generated, you should be able to accurately predict where your business will be 6 months from now. Hopefully your revenue is growing or steady. If you’re looking for ways to increase revenue, conduct your revenue check in in tandem with your marketing plan check in. This will help you set quarterly or 6 month revenue goals and develop methods to determine how successful your marketing strategy is.
- Mid-Year Check In #4: Your Marketing Plan:
You should be able to figure out which business strategies have been most effective by determining which of your marketing plans have been the most successful and developing quarterly, bi-annual and yearly revenue goals. Your mid-year marketing check in should reveal ways to cut costs and ways to effectively re-invest marketing money into portions of the plan where it will be most useful. If an advertising strategy has not been as fruitful as planned, consider moving on to the next marketing method.
- Mid-Year Check In #5: Your Employees:
It is important to communicate with your employees and identify achievements, address any problems and honor mid-year bonuses and praise. Use special mid-year conferences with each employee to offer any constructive criticism and acknowledge work that has been above the expected standards. As you discuss the role your employees play in your agency, make sure you ask them for feedback on how you’re doing as a manager. Allowing your staff to contribute their advice and opinions on your management style and on specific business goals will help all members of your staff feel appreciated.
Once you have completed your mid-year check ins, be sure to evaluate your strategies and decide what changes need to be made to ensure that you meet your year-end goals. For example, if this year’s goal is to gain a higher ranking in local search results and your listing is still where it was in January, investigate new ways to help increase your rank. After completing your mid-year check in, you should have a clear understanding of your agency’s successes and missteps from the first half of 2012.
With this information collected, it's time to:
- Identify New Problems:
While focusing on the goals you have made for the year, it is easy to overlook new issues. Be sure to add unforeseen problems that need fixing to your agenda. This means revisiting and changing your budget to account for increased expenses or broken equipment, and adapting your business strategies to any new legislation changes or regulations that could affect your agency.
- Reassess Goals:
Many private investigation agencies will find that their goals were too lofty or too easy to meet. If you have more goals than your agency can realistically meet, choose which goals are of the highest priority, focus on those and eliminate the rest until next year. At the same time, try to take little steps when you can that will help you eventually meet those long term goals. And if you have almost achieved all you wished for in 2012, think of a few more short-term advancements your company can complete in the next six months.
Enact Plan B, C, D, E...:
As we stated in our guide for setting new year’s resolutions, it is important to have a few back-up plans in case your original strategy does not work. Say your marketing strategy isn’t working and you are not getting the attention you’d thought you would from a billboard campaign, try a second strategy like a mailing campaign to keep your business in forward motion. Running a business requires that you are always adapting to new factors in your environment and changing business goals and strategies based on these factors.
July 2nd is just around the corner, but your agency should still have time to gather information and complete mid-year check ins. Your agency can stay on track for this year’s goals by taking the proper time to identify problem areas, change strategies and praise successes. Take the mid-year point as a time to reset yourself and focus on your major goals for 2012.
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