Planning for business success allows you to create a focus and build motivation. Without a business plan, your day can easily be hijacked by everyone else’s interruptions. Time is such an important commodity that you should guard against it being wasted. As long as you are going to work on and with your business, you might as well make it profitable and productive.
With a plan, you can begin to control how your day plays out and therefore, what you get done. Follow these steps to get your business off to a profitable and prosperous new year.
Determine Your Starting Position
If you are starting a new year, or starting a new quarter, this is a time to objectively assess how your business is performing, before making future plans. Here are 2 questions to answer.
- This is the time to assess how your business performed over the past year or quarter before determining how you will move your business forward.
- Schedule uninterrupted time to thoroughly examine all functions of your business and give yourself time to reflect on the findings. If you did not experience the business success you desired, now is the time to make modifications in your plans.
Revisit your purpose and vision to set your business trajectory
You will be more successful in building a solid, profitable business when you make certain that very goal you set directly connects to fulfilling your BUSINESS PURPOSE. How do you define your business purpose? A business purpose defines the reason why you have formed your company. It should be concise enough to be written as a single sentence or two.
If your team is inspired by the purpose you serve through your business, then they are going to be more committed and inspired to put forth their best efforts. The motivation comes from them knowing the organization is providing a positive impact on the lives of customers, clients, investors, or whomever you’re trying to serve. This should be how you define business success.
Remember that the BUSINESS PURPOSE STATEMENT is different than the business mission and vision statements.
Typically, a business creates a MISSION STATEMENT that clarifies what the company intends to do.
Such a statement is accompanied by a VISION STATEMENT that defines where the company expects to be in the future, and how the company expects to accomplish its long-term purpose.
Defining your purpose allows you to create a big picture for the future development of the organization. When you can communicate the powerful impact for those you serve, you’ll find that those working with you will be inspired to strive to reach your big picture results. Take time to reflect on what purpose your business serves that provides positive impact.
Here are 3 questions to answer:
- What’s really DRIVING you forward? Think BIG! So big that if you knew today it would take 10 years to succeed, you’d go for it any way, no matter what.
- Create a vision so magnificent that when you face setbacks, challenges, and down days (there will be a lot of them) your vision will carry you through. What’s your vision?
- What is the purpose you’ve chosen to build business success around? What’s the message you want to spread? What level of impact do you ultimately want to have on other people?
Create an annual goal to create business success
Effective goals are designed to be meaningful, methodical and action oriented. To craft goals, use the acronym “STAR.” In the STAR Goals formula, the letters represent the following aspects:
Strategic: identifying long-term or overall aims and interest coupled with the means of achieving them. A strategic goal describes how the business will achieve its vision in the current environment.
Time-specific: establishing a time frame and schedule within which the goal is to be completed. Often benchmarks are established to monitor progress toward the achievement of the goal.
Action-oriented: creating the implementation process that will be used to attain the desired results. Sequential in nature, the tasks can be monitored and modified as needed.
Results-oriented: including an AFTER ACTION REVIEW to assess how things went in the process so that improvements can be made as new goals are established.
Using both the business assessment you completed and your revised business purpose and vision, it’s time to create an over-arching Annual Business Goal: a STAR goal that is BIG so that it motivates you.
Here is an example of a STAR goal. “In 2020 we will launch a new line of accessories that our salespeople can model while working to complement the casual line of women’s clothing and increase sales by 15%.”
Here’s another. “In 2023, our sales team will add 40 new clients by incorporating an automated marketing system to sell our online DIY programs and increase our visibility as experts in the field.”
Planning is essential if you are going to create business success. Don’t take shortcuts in this effort. It may seem like you are too busy to stop and plan, but you will find that such planning can bring about profitable results. Having a process for making decisions and establishing your priorities can be simplified by using our GET THINGS DONE THAT MATTER guide. We have found that when goals are set and to-do lists are developed, decisions become easier to make.