Planning for success

Planning for success and growth in your small business is important.  Just like any business, you will want to plan in advance and review your progress regularly to see what changes you will need to make along the way.  Without adjusting your actions for the current conditions and new information, your plan will be useless. That is why we encourage our small business clients to look at this simple system to plan for their success.  The simpler your plan is, the more likely it is that you will follow it.  And remember: Most people will over-estimate what they can do in their business in one year, and under-estimate what they can achieve in 3-5 years.

What you need to look at to grow

Your small business growth plan will need to look at a number of components to be successful.  Here is a list of the steps that we recommend for your planning and development of your small business:

1.     The business review of your current years statistics

This includes your small business sales, where they came from and the strength of the sales channel.

2.     The review of your S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)

It’s important to know how you are doing – and it’s even more important to know where you can improve.  With this in mind, you may be able to hire someone that can effectively do something you are not strong in.

3.     Setting your goals for sales and lifestyle

Your goals for your business need to be aligned with your lifestyle goals.  Why? Well, as a small business owner, your efforts greatly affect the function of the company.  In most cases, the business will grind to a halt without you.

4.     Reviewing your sales marketing plan and deciding on your new plan in advance.

In our coaching for small business programs, we help entrepreneurs and small business owners understand that sales don’t happen by mistake.  Although you can have some business trickle in from various sources, the strength of the business lies in how defined their sales and marketing plans are.  Without a well thought out sales development program (which may include sales outsourcing, sales management outsourcing or specialized marketing firms) most businesses will struggle with erratic sales.

5.     Reviewing areas for technical growth and ability

Setting up your implementation plan will identify quickly if your small business can benefit from a technical upgrade to your systems, or if it would benefit from educating your employees with training they need.  Make sure to see if there is an government funding that you and use to help you grow in this area.

6.     Setting up your business growth tracking and monitoring system

Implementing new ideas is the first step to your business growth.  The big gains in performance come as you begin to work with the system over time.  By tracking and monitoring results, any small business can continue to find growth from their efforts as the year progresses.

Timing your review

The best time to do your planning and review is after the first week in December.  By that time, most of your clients and prospects will become busy with the holidays and contacting them may be tough.  If you find yourself busy in December, reschedule your planning for a quite time in January.  We always have times where things slow down somewhat in our small businesses and that is a perfect time to plan. 

You may want to consider planning a trip away to do your planning.  Even if it is a short day trip, a change of scenery will help you look at your business and the possibilities that are available for you in the coming year in a different way.  Regardless of how you plan, you need to plan for success.  So take the time and schedule in your business review now and you will be taking your first step to a great future!

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