As we approach the second half of the year, the need to plan ahead for your business has never been more apparent. Why? That’s a great question. I’ve talked to many small business owners who have told me they either don’t have time to plan or that it’s pointless because the world changes so fast. But is that true?
One of my favorite anecdotes about business plans is the road trip. You start out knowing that you are taking a trip from Indianapolis to Houston. You methodically plan it out and identify the optimal route for your journey. Once you start that drive, though, things come up. Traffic delays, road closures, and detours become the norm. But what you never lose focus on is that you are going to Houston. And if you did the plan up front, you know what those delays will cost you in gas, time, etc. against your expectations. And, knowing that, you can make adjustments to optimize your route.
So, why plan ahead for your business for the rest of the year? The answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is, so you know where you are going, how you’re going to get there, and what you need to get together to finish the journey. Let’s take a look at some critical areas for you to consider.
Resetting objectives for the rest of the year
We all know that COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of many businesses this year, Between mandated closures, supply chain interruptions and consumer concerns all expectations set in January are off. If you did plan ahead for your business, though, you know how much and where you are off. If you set objectives around revenue from specific sales channels, for example, you can see where you are off. Further, you can use that information to begin to adjust your plan for the rest of the year by focusing on those areas where you can make the most impact. This need to make adjustments leads us to strategies.
Key strategies to plan ahead for your business in 2020
When you track against your objectives, you can see what is driving your losses or gains. This tracking allows you to do an exercise called “Bend the Curve.” In this exercise, I work with my clients to see precisely where their challenges are to growth. Then we can dig in more in-depth on each of those and begin to see where we can make adjustments to start bending that negative curve back up. How? We do it by brainstorming all the possible ideas to move our growth curve in a more positive direction. The strategies created allows small business owners to grow their business for the rest of the year in a meaningful way. And we will tie numbers and metrics to it as objectives, so we can track progress and do more or less depending upon those results.
The action plan – the projects we need to complete to execute on our strategies
Chances are, during that brainstorming exercise, the business owner has come up with key ideas that will move the needle. We might not, however, have the capacity to execute them. So we must create a set of action plans to build that capacity. We will assess each strategy based upon what it will take to achieve, what the major milestones will be for that project, and how much it will cost in time and money to execute it. We can then prioritize and begin the process.
The first of July is just days away. There is still time to plan ahead for your business so you can identify the best way forward to grow. Setting objectives helps you to see what is possible. Creating new strategies, or refining existing ones will show you how to get there. Identifying the key projects, you need to execute on those objectives will help you prioritize your time.
If you’re interested in learning more about this methodology, let’s set up a 15-minute consultation to see what’s possible. I look forward to talking to you.