Hoping that your business will be better this year than it was last year without an action plan, is called wishful thinking; and hope is not a sound business strategy.
Getting your business off to a good start in a new year requires focused planning, strategic thinking and consistent implementation.
What you do now, sets the stage for the rest of the year.
Successful business owners take a proactive approach to strategically map out their priorities and initiatives for the future and align them to measurable goals — and then adjust the plan as they need to.
This may sound obvious, or even boring to you. Still, the most obvious business solutions aren’t rocket science – they are generally the tried and true foundational things that work, in the way of business growth.
Having a plan in your head is not enough, you have to write it down.
➡️ Want a step-by-step blueprint for smashing your business goals this year? Grab my Business Success Planner here.
Forbes reports a remarkable study about goal-setting in the Harvard MBA Program.
Harvard’s graduate students were asked if they have set clear, written goals for their futures, and specific plans to transform their fantasies into realities.
The result of the study was only 3% of the students had written goals and plans to accomplish them, 13% had goals in their minds but haven’t written them anywhere and 84% had no goals at all.
Think for a moment about which group you belong to.
After 10 years, the same group of students was interviewed again, and the conclusion of the study was astonishing.
The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned 2X the amount of the 84% who had no goals.
The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, 10X as much as the other 97% of the class combined.
People who don’t write down their goals tend to fail easier than the ones who have plans.
When I work with my private one-on-one clients, we create a Business Growth Roadmap, which includes establishing measurable goals for the year, quarterly priorities, monthly initiatives and weekly action steps.
This provides a heightened sense of clarity, focus and direction for the business owner (and their team), so they can make better business decisions, allocate time and money appropriately and rally their team and resources around common goals and a plan to get there.
Nobody does their best work, and results are rarely achieved, with moving goalposts, especially goalposts that live in the business owner or CEO’s head.
An additional benefit to this type of focused planning, strategic thinking and dedicated execution is that we also eliminate busy work, overwhelm, wasted time and misused funds, while improving productivity, profitability and results.
8 Business Planning Tips for Business Success
- Create an Annual Business Growth Plan. Articulate your company’s measurable goals for the next 12 months, including your quarterly priorities with realistic initiatives that will support those priorities. Define the KPIs (metrics) and accountability structure to clarify who owns each initiative.
- Assess the Previous Year’s Progress. Review the previous year’s results to determine what worked well, what didn’t work and what needs to be adjusted. What were the missed opportunities? Where is there room for improvement?
- Revisit your SWOT Analysis. Perform a SWOT analysis to articulate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in each functional area of your business (Sales, Marketing, Operations, HR, Finance), and adjust your plan accordingly.
- Know the Key Trends in your Industry. What are you noticing in your market or industry? Use that information to inform your priorities and initiatives for the upcoming year to stay relevant and innovative in the marketplace.
- Define your Marketing and Sales Plan. Determine the best ways to build visibility and credibility for your business. What is your marketing process for turning brand exposure into market-qualified leads? What does your sales process look like for nurturing and converting leads into paying customers?
- Revisit your Pricing and Service Model. Is it time to raise your prices or change your profit model? What are the ways you will over-deliver on your brand promise? How will you increase your customer’s share of wallet or lower your attrition rate? Where are the friction points in your customer experience, or the gaps in your customer journey?
- Determine your People and Resource Needs. What is the right organizational structure to support your business strategy? What initiatives are best outsourced or contracted to vendors? How will you engage your team and create loyalty?
- Review your Operational Systems and Processes. Is it time to implement a CRM system or replace an outdated program? Do you have your standard operating procedures written down and documented? Have you systematized or automated your customer onboarding (and employee onboarding) processes?
I realize this is a lot to consider.
If you could use a second set of eyes to help sort all this out, let’s do this together.
We’ll get what’s in your head down on paper and talk about what needs to happen to achieve your goals. I’ll provide a compass and a roadmap that guides you forward with less struggle and more velocity. We’ll do this with my strategic expertise guiding the process, to break down your vision into an operational plan — that gets you results!
If you’re struggling to get traction, want to accelerate growth or scale and leverage your business to 6 or 7+ figures, apply for a discovery call with me today at MeetWithMichela.com