It’s that time of year again. If you’ve set some goals for the coming year, excellent! But do you have an action plan to map out how you will get there?
Don’t let the word plan scare you. An action plan is simply a sequence of steps you must take or activities that must be performed well in order to accomplish your goals. It has four elements: what task must be done, by who and by when and what resources (time, money or people). It’s not complicated – but it is a key to reaching new levels of success. Winning in business, like in sports, begins with preparation.
As you plan for the coming year, keep the following in mind:
- The profitability of your business depends on how well you and your team consistently perform critical activities. It’s not about doing a lot of stuff, it’s about doing the right stuff well each and every time. What are the critical activities in your business and what do you need to do to improve them and do it consistently?
- Small changes in critical areas can have a great impact on the bottom line. Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. As you plan, go beyond marketing and sales. Look at the people and systems that support your business. What about the products and services you offer – do they need a facelift? Do your service levels and operations provide a great buying experience each and every time? Make continuous improvement in all areas a priority in your business. Your customers and bottom line will thank you!
- Employees perform best when they understand how their performance affects the bottom line and how their performance is measured. Have you shared your business goals with your team? Do they understand how their ‘job’ contributes to success? Connect the dots and get them engaged. It’s a recipe for success.
- What gets measured gets done and what gets rewarded gets done again. Do you want more leads and customers or want to improve efficiency, margins, customer satisfaction or receivables? Measure, track and share what is critical to your success. Then, reward the team when results are achieved – so the actions and behaviors that got you results continue to be a priority.
Have You Hit a Planning Road Block?
If you are serious about setting a better course for your business, then check out my Ultimate Guide to Planning and Goal Setting. With my step by step process, plus easy to use templates and examples, you can create an effective and actionable plan for your small business in less than 8 hours! Click here to learn more and download your copy today.