Published: January 29th, 2019; By: Nick Hughes
As business owners, your most important responsibility is to develop and successfully execute the annual plan.
Good news is, most of us take that responsibility very seriously and invest time as we head into a new year to plan for the year ahead.
The challenge, however, comes after that. You already have a full-time job building your client base, servicing clients and managing the day-to-days of your business. Your plan creates even more work in your already full 24-hour day!
And yet, the successful execution of your plans is where your rewards will come. Here are ten actions you can take to help successfully execute your plans.
1. Write it down. Don’t carry your plan in your head. Countless studies show that a documented plan is much more likely to be achieved than an unwritten plan. It also gives you the opportunity to share and get help in achieving the plan.
2. Don’t hide your plan away. Once you have documented your plan don’t file it way in your bottom drawer; if it is out of sight it is out of mind. Put your plan somewhere where you will see it every day. A hidden plan soon becomes a forgotten plan.
3. Break your plan into smaller manageable chunks. Your plan is for the full year and you have set goals you want to achieve by the end of the year. A year is a long way away and there is no sense of urgency. Break your One Year Goals into Quarterly Goals; i.e. March 31st (Q1), June 30th (Q2) and September 30th (Q3). Now your focus is on the goals for the current quarter; that’s urgent!
4. Know when to start projects. Every plan includes projects; for example, implement a new website, hire an assistant, develop a new product. Each project has a completion date; but when do you need to start the project? The most important date to identify is the START DATE. If the start date is missed there is a high probability the completion date will also be missed.
5. Plans fall behind one day at a time. Put key dates, including start dates and milestone dates, in your calendar. Pay attention to them. Don’t disregard them. Give them the same priority you give your client delivery. Don’t let key dates slip without assessing the impact on your plans. If it means taking corrective action, then do so now not later. Read – How Do Projects Fall Behind Schedule?
6. Review your plans at least once a week. Take an hour every Monday morning before you start anything to review the plans and assess the status. Ask the questions: What am I doing to make this happen? Are we on track to achieve this quarters goals? Do we need to make any changes? Do we need additional help? What are the hurdles stopping us from moving forward? If corrective action is required, act immediately! Don’t wait; it will only get worse.
7. Find someone who can keep you accountable to your plans. Don’t use a friend; they will be too kind! If you have partners, agree that accountability is the responsibility of each partner. If you don’t, consider hiring a coach. Share your plans with those who are important to you; your team and/or your family. Here are some thoughts on Business Accountability Teams.
8. Do one thing from your plans each day before you open your emails. You will be surprised how effective this simple act will be in getting you to focus and acting on your plans. It delays the distraction of emails that can send you down a rabbit hole. And it keeps your plan moving forward one small step at a time.
9. Manage the Numbers. A company plan includes targets to be achieved. What are your key numbers? For example:
– Revenue and Profit
– Number of new clients
– Delivery times
Set targets for each of your key numbers and track the results. If the numbers are not on track, then you need to apply corrective action. To repeat myself; don’t wait, act now!
10. Attitude is everything. Believing in your plans will go a long way to achieving them. It starts with a realistic plan, continues with action and is reinforced by acknowledging the things you have achieved and things yet to be done.
Believe in your plans.
Attitude is everything!
The success you want for your business comes from having clarity on where you are going, planning the actions you need to take to get there and staying focused on making it happen. It’s about successfully executing your company’s plans.