- Posted by Kevin
- On 21st October 2018
Only a few days left before the big fellow in red climbs down our chimneys, eats our mince pies drinks our sherry and feeds Rudolph with our milk and carrots. Yes Xmas is almost upon us and one certain way to tell is the sudden bombardment of holiday ads. Is it just me or didn’t they use to start roundabout New Year?
Of course the idea is to get us all dreaming of the better life we can have (if only for a few weeks) at a destination we have all dreamed of. Some of the offers are very enticing and for a great many of us just too good to turn down. So we make our booking having decided where, when and who is going, and over the coming months will plan and carry out the activities needed to have a great holiday.
Some of those activities will include; acquiring passports, arrangements to travel to and from the airport, clothes to wear during, currency to spend during, toiletries including sun tan lotion and after sun, arrangements for pets and maybe children, for the ladies a trip to the hairdresser, luggage and luggage labels heaven forbid the airline loose those carefully selected clothes, weight of luggage, diet to get into those fabulous clothes, possibly learn some of the local language, research the destination, plan itinerary, cancel milk and newspapers, book time off work, have a holiday countdown chart etc. The list of activities will be time lined and followed through with military precision. Carry out the plan and chances are you will have a great holiday.
Let’s consider an alternative event a wedding anniversary. What are the chances of a great anniversary for a husband, who has the sudden realisation at 8.30 in the evening that it is in fact his anniversary, he makes a quick trip down to the local garage to pick up chocolates and flowers if they have any? The probable result may not be pretty
So two events one planned one isn’t which one has the greatest chance of success?
So let me ask you what plan have you got in place to grow a great business? What activities have you got planned over the next year to take your business to a whole new level? What activities have you got planned to significantly improve the results you are presently achieving.
It has been estimated that less than 3% of business owners have a written plan for their business. When I say plan, what I am talking about here is a list of strategies turned into structured activities that when brought together produce a better result. Will it guarantee a result? No, but the chances of success are definitely greater.
It really begs the question “Why do so many owners avoid planning?” Answers could include: Don’t know how, don’t know what to put into a plan, did a plan once it didn’t work so conclusion is it’s a waste of time, or the old golden nugget, I’m too busy so don’t have time to plan!
“He who fails to plan, is planning to fail”…Sir Winston Churchill.
Its crazy the amount of meticulous planning we put into making our holiday a success, yet the very thing that will provide the funds for the holiday, the business, gets little or no attention. It’s just left to chance.
Before I move on let me just make one distinction here when I say plan, I am not talking about the full-blown business plan designed to secure finance from a bank which when it has served its purpose of securing the finance spends the rest of its life locked away in a cupboard. I am talking about an inspiring action oriented plan designed to drive your business forward to success.
There are just 5 steps to developing an effective plan:
- Set goals that inspire both you and your team, that are taking you in the direction of a compelling future or moving you away from a painful present.
- Identify the strategies and actions needed to accomplish your goals.
- Set a time-frame for completion.
- Allocate ownership. Who does what by when?
- Have a set of measures in place to evaluate what is being achieved.
One of the biggest challenges faced by most businesses is execution. You can have the greatest plan in the history of the universe but it’s just ideas on a piece of paper unless you give it momentum. One of the best ways to get momentum is to have some form of accountability. That could be another member of your team, a member of your family, a community of like-minded people, and/or a business coach.
Having asked someone to hold you accountable you are more likely to follow through on the actions you have promised because there is a consequence to not carrying it out.