As the saying goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
That is true in life and work, and with the new year upon us, it’s a perfect time to set your strategy for growth. Creating a plan for the year, results in a roadmap from which you can track your success – and without which you are likely to fall prey to shiny object syndrome.
Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.
Tip #1: Start with Your Vision
A plan with your “WHY” at its foundation (aka your big reason for doing what you do) ensures your goals are in alignment with the vision for your company. Keep your vision statement simple; it should accurately and passionately define why are you are in business and how you wish to make a difference. Let it become the essential “North Star” that guides you, your team, decision-making, and goal setting throughout the year.
Tip #2: Define Your Top 3 Objectives for 2020
Many business owners fail to create their strategy because it seems too daunting. Start simple and come up with three objectives. Begin by taking a look at your gaps over the last year to determine what didn’t work the way you had intended and what is most important in the coming year. Perhaps your processes haven’t been documented and you’re losing critical time getting from the proposal to the close phase of your sales cycle. One objective could be to map out the sales funnel and determine the process for getting through each stage of the funnel. Then, define two more objectives to round out your top three for the year.
Tip #3: Get Your Team Involved
Strategies are more likely to be properly executed when your team is involved at the onset. Frank conversations with your team about the company’s vision and the objectives you plan to achieve for the year provide the foundation for valuable input about how to make those objectives happen. When your team is engaged in decision making and idea generation, they assume greater ownership and often come up with ideas you may not have considered. Create a safe space in which to garner their input and capture their ideas. Then, use those ideas as momentum for the implementation of improvements in the coming year.
Tip #4: Think in 90-Day Increments
In his book, Traction, Gino Wickman contends that consistent success at attaining goals can be achieved by creating your own “90-Day World.” Think of your goals in terms of 90-day chunks of time, encapsulating your large plans into smaller, bite-sized increments. Start with your three year-long objectives and break them down into what needs to happen in the next 90 days to be on track towards reaching them. Every 90 days, review goals and accomplishments with your team and determine tactics for the next 90 days to maintain momentum or get back on track. Create SMART goals which are:
Tip #5: Don’t Do It Alone
Small business owners often wear many hats. While the buck may stop with you, it is not necessary that you do everything yourself. Here are two tips that helped us grow our business in 2019. They will not only ease your burden, but give you some space to lead your company to greatness.
If you have no team in place to help you with planning, identify a group of trusted associates or other business owners to help you ideate your plan. Like-minded people have often faced similar challenges and can help resolve issues since they’ve been in your shoes.
Hire out work that can be done by someone else. If you’re still doing your own books and taxes, or attempting to do your own marketing, perhaps it’s time to look at how you can hand over those activities so that you can better focus your time and energy on the growth of the business.
I’m excited to get our own 2020 planning completed and rolled out to our team. It’s going to be a great year – a little planning and focus goes a long way. For help getting your marketing back on track, contact me for a complimentary discovery call to discuss how we may be of service.