Get on track with a business plan.
A good leader knows their company’s ultimate destination. But if your goals aren’t aligned with that vision and mission, it might as well not exist.
You need an annual business plan that defines how you plan to achieve your vision and mission, using a concrete set of goals, strategies, and initiatives. We always include a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and ensure the greatest gap of area of opportunity is prioritized. These business plans should exist on both a company-wide, department, and individual team member level.
The Business Plan
Good business plans help you define how your team plans to achieve your vision. They work whether you are a CEO, C-Suite executive, or team leader. You can start with three main parts:
- Goals: What do you want to achieve?
- Strategy: How are you going to accomplish your goals?
- Initiatives: What are the key initiatives within those strategies?
Goals: Every goal you set needs to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). You need to be able to measure each goal and decide unequivocally if you have succeeded or failed. I recommend setting annual business goals that you then break down by the quarter.
People sometimes confuse goals for initiatives. For instance, “Hire two salespeople” is not a goal, because it’s a specific action. A goal is a measurable result with a timeline, i.e. “Make $500,000 more in gross sales by a specific date.”
Strategies: How are you going to achieve your goals? Tie four or five key strategies to each goal, and make sure the team is involved in that process. They need to understand the destination and be on board with how you plan to get there.
Initiatives: The initiative is the granular day-to-day action item to accomplish your strategy. Initiatives live within strategies, and grow organically from there.
Here are two examples of goals, strategies and initiatives:
Goal: Close $25 million in sales by December 31st, 2018
Strategy: Complete strategic planning with customers.
Initiative: Schedule one strategic planning session per month with every top customer.
Goal: Increase services sales fifty percent by December 31st , 2018
Strategy: Create more customer contact points.
Initiative: Invite 10 customers to monthly events.
In the above example, each goal only has one strategy and one initiative. Generally, you will have multiple strategies per goal, and multiple initiatives per strategy.
Another important part of goal planning is knowing your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). This can be applied individually, as a team, or as a company.
Strengths (internal) – team culture
Weaknesses (internal) – amount of new people
Opportunities (external) – market demand for technical services
Threats (external) – economic downturn
After creating business plans and SWOT Analysis, examine what gaps the business plan reveals. Where is the most important area of improvement? Where should you focus? That will help you update your plans for the next year, or even the next quarter.
Individual Business Plans Keep Everyone on Task
The business plan should be developed for the company as a whole, department, and then be developed by individual team members. So you will end up with a company plan, department plans, and individual team member plans that are fully aligned.
For example, if the company's annual business plan is to do $25 million in sales, team members can determine which chunk of that they plan to hit it as an individual sales number. Their strategy is to develop their top ten accounts, and their initiative is to reach out personally to each account on a weekly basis. All goals to be completed by specific dates.
I recommend building a spreadsheet to track individual business plans. Each team member can then compare their progress to their teammates and the larger company goal. This creates great accountability for the team and gets everyone engaged.
The Turbo Playbook includes templates for business plans, SWOT, and gap analysis. Get in touch, and I’ll be able to help you ensure that you’re hitting your targets and staying in line with your vision.
If you want to know more about how The Turbo Playbook fosters accountability, get in touch. I can coach your team to make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them, and how to hit their targets.
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