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How To Use The Magic Of Time Framing

Furniture World Magazine


When preparing an event.
Time framing can revolutionize your business life. The simple executive concept of doing one thing at a time in disciplined focus has been lost to many entrepreneurs over the years. However, rest assured that the world class shakers and movers understand the principle of time framing and use it religiously.

You need only remember and apply two cardinal rules:

[A] Each step in its proper sequence. For Example: Unless it’s really urgent or obvious, don’t second-guess your planning when you are in the middle of preparing. Don’t indulge in “we should have’s” when the sale is in progress. Focus upon each sequence – as far as possible – in turn.

[B] Master each step before you attempt the next step. It is too late to learn when you are planning, it’s too late to plan when you are preparing, and it’s too late to prepare when the sale is running! Of course, there will be some overflow from one step to another. The essential principle is to MASTER the previous step before going to the next. Learn all you can before trying to plan. Have your ducks in a row before you try to have a planning session with your staff. Know the numbers of last year’s event, mark-up, costs of media, and so on.

“People say I am energetic. Perhaps what they are observing is less great natural energy than resolute focus. I carefully plan my working hours, and allot a specific segment of time to concentrate upon a single objective or problem. While engaged in this time segment, I do not allow myself to be charmed away from what I am doing to think about something else or attend to another issue. Once I have fulfilled my time commitment to an issue, I move to another, all according to a predetermined sequence. It is because I do not permit my energies to be scattered and fragmented thither and yon that I am able to conserve them, and appear to have them in abundance.” - THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Here are the five TIME-FRAMING steps:

• STEP 1 - LEARNING: “If you think you are green, you grow. If you think you are ripe, you begin to get rotten.” Wisdom is acquired by the continuous habit of learning new information and sharpening your expertise. Before you plan your next big event review the “Lost Secrets” material we have offered over the past several months. Admit to being green and you will always grow. As mentioned before, review all the data you need relative to the event you are going to plan.

• STEP 2 - PLANNING: “He who fails to plan plans to fail.” Wise plans are achieved through the ability to collaborate with others toward the achievement of a shared vision. Last month we covered planning in depth, how to conduct meetings and assign responsibilities.

• STEP 3 - PREPARATION: We will discuss the preparation phase of a promotion in this article, after this review of the Time-Framing process. Flawless preparation requires the ability to administrate activities through documented and time-sensitive delegation — tracking skills, and generating energy to inspire and empower associates through a modern leadership style.

• STEP 4 - EXECUTION: Focused execution is achieved by acquiring the state of mind of success and victory. You must then inspire associates to attain that state of mind during the execution of plans. It’s too late to plan! It’s too late to prepare! It’s time to sell! Go for it!

• STEP 5 - EVALUATION & REDIRECTION: One must have the objectivity to evaluate performance fearlessly, and the wisdom to make the necessary adjustments. Finally, one must be willing to generate the enthusiasm to do better the next time.

These are the five basic principles of Time-Framing. Don’t be mislead by their simplicity. They are the profound essentials that account for the poise and depth of the great leaders and creators in the world. In previous articles we have gone through the stages of LEARNING and PLANNING. Now we are ready for the Preparation Stage.

You have studied the terrain and the situation. You have met with the staff and planned the event. You have brainstormed, and gotten the best thinking of everyone. Assign responsibilities and post them on your calendar. Every detail of your sale has been delegated or assigned. The Preparation Stage is now set into motion.

“Ninety percent of the battle is preparation, not emotion — not desire. Prepare yourself, prepare your officers, and prepare the troops. Leave no stone unturned, no possibility overlooked. Prepared armies perform with self-assurance, passion and skill. And they win.”

GENERAL GEORGE SMITH PATTON: HUNDREDS of details must be taken care of during the PREPARATION stage of a promotion. A great number of people must attend to delegated duties. Responsible executives must make sub-delegations to other people. They must be motivated and monitored. There can be no slip-ups, period.

During your EXECUTIVE MASTER STRATEGY MEETING, you will partially fill out your DELEGATION & ACTIVITY GUIDELINES sheet and make assignments. The time frames for the completion of each task will be established, and a follow-up meeting set up. (See the illustration). After the meeting, you should post the Delegation and Activity Guidelines in a secure area, distribute minutes of the Master Strategy meeting. The preparation process is now set into motion.

Your Delegation and Activity Guidelines sheet should have lines of numerous designated preparation activities, looking something like the illustration detail. Follow the sequences, delegate and record each item. Your follow-up meeting will verify that things are tracking properly. Once an assignment is made, allow that person to complete it. Administer assertively, but do not over-administer or micro-manage. Allow for individual creativity and initiative.

The preparation and monitoring sequences continue until the final moments before the doors open. During this period you print your price tags, get your name tags made, buy your media, and so on. Delegate any jobs you can, and be sure people “sign-off” on completed jobs. Monitor progress during the preparation stage and conduct several follow up meetings to make small “course corrections.” (The first Apollo moon expedition was on course only 10% of the time!)
As the kick-off of the sale approaches, you can be confident that you have touched all the bases. In the next issue we will cover the fourth step of time framing an event: The Execution. It’s showtime! And, as General Patton pointed out, if you have left no stone unturned and prepared well, your team will perform with precision, and it will all be worth it.

Larry Mullins, President of UltraSales, Inc., has 30+ years experience in the front lines of retail furniture marketing. Larry's mainstream executive experience, his creative work for "promoter-specialists," and study of advertising principles has enabled him to continually develop new High-Impact strategies for independent furniture retailers that are sound, complete, and innovative. Inquiries can be sent to Larry care of FURNITURE WORLD at editor@furninfo.com.