As the previous blogs point out, a good plan is:
- The key to business success
- Easy to do
What is difficult is actually using the plan on a consistent basis to move your business forward. If you intend to create a plan and then file it away; save yourself some time; don’t plan.
One of the reasons plans are difficult to execute is the conflict you have between “Money Now and Money Later”. You need Money Now to keep the business going and yet your plans are all about Money Later. But if you don’t work on Money Later stuff then Money Now will soon become Money None.
Here are our favourite ten tips to make your plans work.
- Write it down. Don’t try and keep it in your head. Countless studies have shown that a documented plan is much more likely to succeed than an undocumented plan.
- The Power of the Start Date! Chances are good that your plan includes projects; for example, implement a new web site, hire an Assistant, develop a new product etc. Each project will have a desired completion date but they must also have START DATES! Then you know when to start!
- Review your plans at least once a week. Take an hour every Monday morning before you start anything and really read them. Ask the questions: What am I doing to make this happen? Are we on track? Do we need to make any changes? What are the hurdles?
- The 90 & 30 Day FocusTM. The plan is for the whole year and that is a long time so break it into smaller more manageable chunks. Identify what needs to be done in the next 90 days to achieve the plans. Then break the 90 days into what needs to be done in the next 30 days.
- Plans fall behind one day at a time! So put key dates into your calendar and let your calendar software keep reminding you. The start dates of projects should be included.
- Find someone who can keep you accountable to your plans. 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; family and/or friends.
- Identify 3 to 5 key numbers that will tell you if your plan is on track. The numbers might include revenue, numbers of new customers, profit, inventory levels or delivery times. You don’t want too many numbers as that will dilute your focus. Measure the results and make sure you initiate corrective action quickly.
- Do one thing from your plans before opening your emails.
- Get help! You can’t do this all on your own so delegate some of the plan activities to your team.
- Attitude is everything! Believing in your plans will go a long way to achieving them.
Hope is not a strategy! If you want success for your business you must first plan for it and then put in the hard work to achieve the plan.