Whatever time of the year it is, you have probably set a working direction for the rest of the year, including clear-cut objectives. Your first-iteration plan to reach them should be in place. This now (whatever time it is – if you are thinking about it) seems like an ideal time to rethink the whole thing, doesn’t it? In our sped-up 21st century world, plans are subject to change just as soon as – or perhaps even before – they are written.
If you haven’t already done so, now is an excellent time to review your company’s year-end results and plan for the coming year. If you’ve already created your annual plan, you may want to look at it in a new light.
A typical approach to planning suggests multiplying last year’s quantitative results by an acceptable growth factor. Industry standards vary, often from 5% to 25%. Add to that number scheduled enhancements to your product line plus solutions to key problems you’ve been meaning to address, and that’s your plan.
Those of you who’ve been following my articles know that I advocate a different approach to this process: Step 1) Learn whatever you can from last year’s results – something many of us forget to do. For example, make this year the year you act on the knowledge that it takes six months to train your field reps, not the six weeks you used to allocate. Step 2) Set targets which will excite you and your team and get you out of bed every morning; Step 3) Figure out how to reach the targets in Step 2.
A well rounded strategy which will provide a platform for continuous growth should impact these critical factors:
* revenue and profit
* product development
* customer satisfaction
* intellectual capital
* strategic relationships
* new customer growth
* employee retention.
For each factor follow the three step analysis. Step 1. What can you learn from last year’s experience in each area?
What did you do right – what worked – what should you do more of? What did you do wrong – what didn’t work – what should be stopped immediately?
Also, ask what is missing from this area. In other words, what could you add – or eliminate – which will make a big difference in your organization’s effectiveness. Random examples of what might be missing: an organizational knowledge manager, periodic competitive analysis, a report of market share, an employee training plan.
Step 2. What results are you committed to produce in each area?
Remember, these results should be bold and dynamic. They should inspire everyone responsible for making them happen to do whatever it takes to get the job done. These targets or measures work best when they are objective and quantifiable. They must be achievable, however difficult that might be. Some examples of bold results: a 50 percent increase in sales; top of the list in prospect mind-share; 100 percent customer repurchases; three new products shipped by June; customer problems resolved in half the current time, a career path in place for each employee, zero turnover.
Step 3. How are you going to achieve these goals?
Your implementation plan has a number of components:
Who is accountable for each factor? Which executive? Which managers? What department? Some factors map directly onto a functional department, like revenue to marketing/sales. Those are the easy ones. Less obvious are factors like intellectual capital or customer satisfaction – they don’t fall under one clear domain. Nevertheless, one person has to pick up the ball. Along with their teams, whoever accepts accountability for specific the targets and goals will answer the remaining questions.
What strategies and tactics have a good chance to produce the results? Remember, if you’ve set bold objectives, you probably do not yet know how to reach them. That’s what makes them bold in the first place. You are inventing the answers, making them up.
The approach to some targets will be simple, others more complex. While there are no guarantees of success, each target should have an identifiable path with a good probability of getting your company to where you want it to be. That path will define one or more initiatives to be put on a timeline. The path will also include milestones – checkpoints to measure the ongoing success of the initiative.
What structural and procedural changes will you make relative to this factor? Some examples are adding two salespeople, creating a quality czar, establishing new reporting lines, eliminating paper memos, making a large capital investment, acquiring a component vendor, or having a monthly new business quota. Each structural and procedural change will give birth to its own initiatives, which also need to be time-lined.
Does this initiative have any staffing implications? Do you need to increase headcount, create new job descriptions or add specific managers? Where a factor maps directly onto a department – such as revenue or customer service – what is the annual staffing plan? If there is a staffing increase, make sure the financial considerations are fed back into the budget.
Taken together, all the factors, targets, accountable parties, initiatives, structural changes, timelines, measures and milestones add up to a strategic plan for the year.
Can you live without addressing all of these factors?
Of course you can – but will you prosper, and for how long? Increase sales, but neglect quality – what will happen to customer satisfaction? Improve product quality but neglect employee retention? What will happen to quality next year? And then what will happen to sales? Focus on profits but not new customers or strategic relationships – next year’s sales (and profits) decline, and so on. Each factor’s improvement synergistically contributes to your company’s survivability and prosperity.
Last issue: Can you do everything at once?
You probably don’t have the resources for that. But the solution cannot neglect any of your critical factors – we’ve just looked at the outcome of that approach. Instead, create another breakthrough. Create a breakthrough in planning which commits your company to some level of advancement for each of the factors. One that ensures they all receive some level of attention so that each is moving forward, although maybe not all to the same degree. To reuse a well-worn phrase, if you are not making progress in each area, you are loosing ground.
This week on Scotch O Clock we discussed How Entrepreneurs Choose the Right Business.
We understand how important it is for Entrepreneurs to start the right business as unfortunately we already know many start up businesses fail within the first couple of years if certain factors aren’t taken into careful consideration.
As we deal with alot successful entrepreneurs we know business owners struggle to decide How to start the right business for them.
This week we decided to address this topic in Scotch O Clock! We wanted to give you a breakdown on how to choose the right business for you and what you must take into consideration when choosing a business.
We we’re joined on Scotch O Clock by the Successful Entrepreneur; Tom Martin who is the owner of a diversity of businesses such as Parkerville Tavern and The Blue Marron Farm. We knew Tom would be a great guest to have on the show to discuss this topic in detail and for him to give his expertise opinion on How To Choose The Right Business.
Featured Whiskey: Tomatin 2004.
Topic Covered: How Entrepreneurs Choose the Right Business.
Tune in for Scotch O Clock Episode 48 by Clicking on the video below:
*Please note we had a few sound technical difficulties in this episode*
Scotch Intro: Tom Martin 2004: 0:22
Topic of Scotch O Clock: How Entrepreneurs Choose the Right Business for them: 1:00
Tom Martin discussing How Entrepreneurs Choose The Right Business for them: 1:50
Management in Business: 3:39
Tax Structure in Business & Why Planning is crucial in business: 3:54
Whiskey Tasting: 9:45
Scotch O Clock Summary: 10:00
We Hope you enjoy this Episode guys and remember to please comment and share this video to help Entrepreneurs wanting clarity on choosing the right business for them.
Since working with Successful Entrepreneurs in our 1-5 Programme we have listed below the 6 KEY areas for you to focus on to get clear on how you can Grow your Business; effectively and efficiently.
1.Planning is KEY.
The best time to take action for you and your business is now to start the new year on track with what you want to achieve.
All aspects of business need to be planned, some in greater detail than others, however there is a much a greater need for you entrepreneurs that are aiming for the stars!
If you Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
For us to best serve our clients we want to be on board with you and what you’re going to achieve because the following items need to be specifically set up and tailored to suit your business:
- Tax and Corporate Structure
- Financial reporting
- Processes and Procedures
2. Get Your Data Processing Right.
Ah, we get it the most ‘un-liked’ part of accounting! Whilst at the same time, one of the most important.
Getting information into the system sets up the foundation for financial reporting and is CRITICAL.
Get the systems and accounting functions in perfect order.
- Efficient Accounting procedures
- Xero & cloud accounting
- Accurate Live data
3. Get Tax Savvy and ATO Compliant.
Don’t ‘shutter’ at the word Tax. The only time tax is scary is when you’re unprepared. True Entrepreneurship is about building your business vision and comprehensively planning managing taxation is vital in order to do so.
This is where we come in, to keep you ahead of the game and the ATO!
- Review Tax Positions Quarterly
- Build Your Perfect Tax Structure
- Help keep the ATO Smiling
4. Harness the Power of Numbers
As Entrepreneurs we’re known for making ‘snap decisions’ and constantly shifting the goal posts and the truth is that not all will pay. However, knowing the true specifics of your financial position gives that extra level of confidence when making the decision.
Know your numbers:
How much money and time do you need to reach your milestones and eventual vision? Indeed, it’s time t get your KPIs right! Generally speaking, entrepreneurs should be monitoring the following on some level:
- KPIs relative to the industry
- KPIs relative to Your Growth Milestones
- KPIs relative to short, Mid and Long -term cash functions
- KPIs relative to Efficiency Across the Entire Business
5. Get on Top of Efficiency
Efficiency makes a monumental difference in business because essentially:
Efficiency = Profit = Cash
When it comes to entrepreneurship, one of the most talked about requirements is saleability and for it to be maximised it takes comprehensive systems designed to maximise efficiency.
Our workflow and automation division can remove the human element and create a massive profit through technology usage. However, EVERY entrepreneur should be reviewing:
- People Efficiency
- Financial Efficiency
- Operational Efficiency
- Technological Efficiency
- Educational Efficiency
- Sales and Marketing Efficiency
- Mental Efficiency
6. Review, Reflect, Realign, Re-Plan and Re-execute.
Steps 1- 5 are going to need to be repeated constantly because everything is going to change especially in a rapidly growing business and ever more so, one being run by a true entrepreneur who is constantly comping up with new crazy innovative ideas.
There is no predetermined amount of time to complete steps 1-5 in fact is should be organically happening all the time as all entrepreneurs should hold continuous improvement as one of their core values.
Constantly evolve the business and business practices.
To Find out How we help entrepreneurs more in our 1-5 Programme click on the Green More information button below.
This week we we’re joined on Scotch O Clock with Chaucer Shenton from Fitness Renegades.
Chaucer has a successful business model in which he has been able to grow his business in multiple locations in Perth.
Chaucer and the team are great coaches and very passionate about what they do.
If you are looking to get fit and implement this into your lifestyle we definitely recommend you checking them out!
Featured Whiskey: Longrow Red Malbec Cask Business
Topic Covered: How To Grow You Business in Multiple Locations
Tune in for Scotch O Clock Episode 46 by Clicking on the video below:
Guest Intro: 0:17
Topic of Scotch O Clock; How To Grow Your Business in Multiple Locations: 1:46
Chaucer discussing his Business Model: 2:30
Point of Difference in Business: 8:30
Growing your Business: 9:40
Chaucer’s advice on Growing your business in multiple locations: 12:40:
– Strong Systems
– Client Systems
– Management software / Automations
– Culture & fit in Business for Clients and Staff
– Management of Cash in Business
Marketing in Business: 25:45
Scotch Introduction & Whiskey Tasting: 31:00
We Hope you enjoy this Episode guys and remember to please comment and share this video to help those in business.