Business Strategic Planning is the most important function of a business owner. It identifies where a company wants to be at a defined point of time in the future and what actions it is going to take to get there.
Strategic Planning is critical to the growth and success of every company. For a company of any size, strategic planning is the “road map” to future success.
Especially during the holiday season it’s easy to become distracted from planning:
- You have your year-end books to prepare for your accountant;
- There are literally dozens of networking events to choose from;
- Clients and customers call you with last minute orders and projects;
- You’re trying to coordinate all of your employee vacation requests;
- Your family is making all sorts of holiday plans; and
- Of course, your trying to close last minute deals to bring in last minute revenue, or set up projects for the beginning of next year.
Here are 3 Simple Ways to Plan this Holiday Season:
- Have A Written Business Plan
- Plan For Tomorrow Today
- Follow Covey’s Quadrants
The best way to avoid distractions is to have a quarterly business plan that you follow ruthlessly. A lot of business owners tell us that they have a plan, it’s just that they keep it in their head… So that plan is competing with all of the distractions listed above, plus phone messages, text messages, e-mail and anything else swarming around in your head. Putting your goals, strategies and tactics on paper is the best way to avoid getting your business tangled up in knots.
Take an hour at the end of the day, or early at night when you are still fresh, and write down the CRITICAL TASKS that must be accomplished in the following day: meetings, phone calls, employee management responsibilities, critical client or customer requests. Prioritize them in the order that you believe will best serve your business – AND STICK WITH JUST THOSE TASKS THE NEXT DAY.
No matter how many times, someone or something tries to pull you away from that list, hold onto it like a terrier with a newspaper.
Famed inspirational leader and coach, Steven Covey came up with a really simple system from separating the necessary from the nice.
He simply put everything onto a four-bucket grid:
- Urgent and Important: This is essentially crisis management where everything that comes in MUST be dealt with right away. However, we all know that you can’t run a business continuously in crisis mode. So take a hard look at what you put in this bucket.
- Not Urgent but Important: These elements are essentially all part of your plan. These are the things you committed to do that you also have the most control over. So stick to them like glue.
- Urgent but Not Important: Essentially, meetings, e-mail, text messages, employees standing at your door… These are all nice “to do’s” but not NEED TO DO’s. Every time you stop what you are doing to do one of these things, it eats into your time to work the Not Urgent But Important bucket, which is your plan. So be wary of these “timewasters”.
- Not Urgent and Not Important: A friend calls you at work who you have not spoken with in some time… Do you really need to take that call? An employee comes into your office and wants to talk about that great football game this weekend… Sure it was great and you even went to that college. Doing these activities is the fastest way to lose control of your business.
To learn more about effective business strategy planning join us on December 13th at Mill River Country Club for a comprehensive six-hour seminar and we will show you a simple, fool-proof planning system that is guaranteed to keep you on track.
Or For a Complimentary Strategic Business Plan Assessment to make sure that you’re business is achieving its true potential and to learn more about easy and effective ways to develop a functional business plan click on the link above or call us at 203.210.7003.