So, you are about to jump in to 2021 and back in to your business. As the next few weeks unfold most people will be at their desks in varying states of rest. Happy New Years and I hope you had a good break…and all that.
The temptation to jump back in and get going is there, especially for the owners, the entrepreneurs, the driven, the overachievers and all others who have just had the benefit of a break and are feeling rested. They are itching to get back in to it. Having touched base with dozens of people who are back at work, feet under the desk, in gear and about to engage in their work in the last couple of days I can’t help but say gently…wait. Take a breath. You are at your best right now to take some time out and PLAN. You have clarity, you are fresh and it’s a new year so anything is possible, right?
There are so many fantastic models available for how to do a plan and many opinions on what should go in one. I thought I would share what I am using at the moment.
Focus on 4 sectors
1. Future: What’s your vision, your beliefs, your DNA, your values. What principles will guide you this year. We all change, and at such a rapid rate, that it’s a good time to check back in and reflect on what makes up our own internal guidance system and write it down.
What’s my vision for 2021 – what would good, better, best look like at the end of the year?
What are my values – what is non-negotiable, what is on the table for discussion or negotiation, what are you tight on, what are you loose on?
What are the goals that will help you achieve that vision – what are the tasks that need to get completed to get going on those goals?
2. On your business: Two strategies here that need some time and thought.
2a. Marketing and BD How will you market yourself and win work – a lot of companies are chasing work, but I am saying take the time to review, revisit and reset the type of companies and work you want to take on. The people you choose to work with have consequences and in a lot of cases it is better to say no and walk away. The strategy to get your clients, the ones you want to work with is one that deserves your time. Your values should help you with this. The best people to work with are those who share some of your values, common ground in that area saves a lot of issues when you are building your relationship over time. And your sales strategy should be looked at, mapped out and re-written. I bet your companies offering has changed – have you told your customers, or are you the best secret that nobody knows about?
Do your sales team know who you are and what you do? The simplest way to do this is ask. But go to them with what you believe you do. Then listen to what they have to say. Collaboration is key in this area. Many minds make a great sales strategy.
2b. Delivery How will you deliver consistently this year?
I use consistently as the benchmark because that is what your customer really wants. They want to know what they are going to get and be reasonably sure they will get it exactly the same every time. So, to that end, its time to do a team and supplier review. Have you got the right people? Are they trained, motivated and engaged? Will you keep them in 2021? Your suppliers and team need to know what you have planned for this year, so don’t forget to tell them. February is always a good time for a company update. Are your systems efficient and effective? Are your procedures and policies up to date? This may be one of your goals for 2021 – calling on a system implementation specialist will speed this process up.
3. In your business: What are the projects that will need to be created to fulfil your marketing/business development and delivery strategies, as well as the business as usual stuff left over from last year?
List out of all your projects. List out the tasks required to complete the projects. Put a due date next to each project. Put a time estimate next to each task. Assign a priority to each project.
You are now ready to get other people involved if you need to, otherwise start putting chunks of time in to your weekly planner to achieve these projects.
4. Professional development: Professional development is an investment for both yourself and your business. It allows you to achieve goals that you may have once thought impossible.