At this time of year, plans are essential, how else would we be able to achieve our business goals for the end of the year, do the Christmas shopping, buy the necessary food supplies…and of course fit in all the Christmas concerts and parties?!
The truth is though, that plans are always essential.
We all need to have a long term view of where we’re going… a clear Vision of the big picture…our big priorities. When it comes to ‘proper planning’ though, we need to focus in on a more actionable and immediate timeframe.
For me, that’s 3 years – long enough to keep me driving forward – short enough to recognise the outcomes I’m achieving and adjust course if I need to.
Your 3 year plan is going to be based on how close you want to get to your Vision over the next 3 years. How much profit do you want to have made? How many new customers? How many products? Do you want make yourself replaceable in your business by then? Or maybe you want to achieve that sooner, because there are other things that you want to have achieved in 3 years?
Your plan becomes even more tangible as you home in on the year ahead and get even more specific.
I love planning for a new year…twelve whole months stretching out ahead, full of opportunity and possibility. Developing a plan that is fully focused on the big game…the important stuff…the things that are going to move me and my business forward and build my personal and professional relationships.
Planning is crucial if you want to achieve…if you want to deliver measurable results. Yet so many of us head into a new year armed with only a broad set of goals and a jumbled list of tasks, and end up wasting time on irrelevant social media conversations and unfocused meetings and activities. Before we know it, we’re into March, and we’ve lost nearly a quarter of the year without achieving anything meaningful.
Getting any plan right starts with that big question: What am I trying to achieve…and why? and builds from there…goals, objectives, targets, deadlines, milestones, measures of success…all essential elements in a robust plan.
You’ll plan and book your holidays…yes, you should do that now, not only as a target to work towards, but also as a re-energiser for your mind, body and spirit.You’re going to need them, and besides, there’s more to life than work.
You’ll then break your yearly plan down into quarters, with 90 day goals and targets, that you’ll come to by asking…“Ok, so if I want to be there at the end of the year…where do I need to be in 90 days?”
I call it 3-1-Q planning, because you assess and adjust at the end of every quarter, every year and every 3 years. Always keeping your big Vision and your big Priorities in full focus. Always moving forward.
Every business owner needs a robust plan…a route map to follow…something that tells you where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there…and then keeps you on track.
Don’t leave home (or into the festive season) without your map!
…If you want want to improve the planning inyour business…if you get the What and want to know more about the How…then do pick up a copy of my bookProcess to Profit which shares a lot of info about setting up the 3-1-Q planning system…or, if you don’t have time to read a book, drop me a line, and I’d be happy to talk it through with you.