It’s time to prepare your business for 2021. Some may say you should have done that already. They’re not wrong, yet given the realities of business and the crush of end of year work, you may not have made it a priority. If that is the case, you still have four weeks left until 2021, and this 4 part series will get you ready to put together your plan of attack. Here is the breakdown of each weekly theme.
- December 7th– Realistically Assess Your Business
- December 14th – Bend the Curve and Achieve Your 2021 Goals Faster
- December 21st– Create Your 2021 Goals and Strategies
- December 28th– Set Your 2021 Priorities
Over the last two posts, we discussed assessing your business honestly and identifying optimal growth opportunities to build a strong foundation for your 2021plan. In this week’s post, we’re going to cover the creation of Goals to measure your success and Strategies to achieve them.
Creating 2021 Goals
When we talk about goals, we mean specific, measurable, and graphable results for our business.
First, goals are the basis for evaluating our business success. They are subjective and take the emotion out of any discussion. We either hit them, or we don’t. Second, they must be graphable. Graphing them reinforces that we focus on numbers, not projects. And graphs are a quick and easy way to communicate our performance. Third, we want these numbers to provide focus and define success. So we want to track 5-7 big goals at the top of the house. In no case should we have more than nine. If we have too many goals, they are simply data, not useful information for measuring performance.
Creating Business Strategies
The next area of focus is on our strategies for the business. Strategies are the “how” of our business. They define our culture and our policies. They guide our employees in how we treat each other, generate sales, and treat our clients and customers. When they are well defined, they allow leaders to delegate more effectively as the team understands how to undertake all the tasks you assign. They save you time and money when you invest upfront in identifying strategies and, more importantly, communicate them to the team.
As with our goals, we want to focus on a core set of strategies. We want to aim for 5 to 7 strategies for the business and have no more than nine. How do you craft your strategies? Keep in mind that they are broad statements, covering multiple years, that:
- Set the direction, philosophy, and values
- Describe ideal clients and how you will attract them
- Define your products, services, and business model
- Establish guidelines for evaluating important decisions
- Set limits on what your company will and will not do
As you think about addressing these bullet points, you are preparing your strategies. To create them, use a simple formula: Define a business building activity or goal and identify how we will do it. Some examples include:
- Expand client based by co-marketing with CPAs, attorneys, and financial advisors
- Attract new clients through seminars, workshops, and referrals
- Attract and retain key employees by being an industry leader and known as a fun place to work
Take the time to create your plan
And, that’s it. We have identified how we will measure our success (goals) and run the business (strategies). Outlined here, it seems quite simple. And, in many ways, it is. However, it isn’t easy to do without going through the steps outlined in the first two parts of this series. Typically, in a workshop with clients, the entire process can take 6-10 hours. You can spread it over the course of a few weeks to fit into your schedule. However, you do it, though, the key is to do it.
Finally, identifying your goals and strategies can also show you the holes in your business. Specifically, do you have the pieces in place to achieve your goals and execute your strategies? We will dive into that next week in our final post.
If you’re ready to move forward, please register for our Master Class – Prepare Your Business for 2021 – kicking off on January 4th, 2021! It’s never too late to take the first step to take control of your business!