Wow, 2020 is already flying by. We are one-third of the way through Q1, one-twelfth of the way through 2020, and the clock is ticking. Not sure about your New Year’s resolutions, but a few of mine have already fallen off the back of the truck. This is a good time to do a quick check on the pulse of your business and your plan.
Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Do you have your plan together already? If not, read on for some ideas to think about. If you have, great! Read on anyway to see if there are any other ideas to consider. Either way, below are three main topics to consider for your plan:
- Build your plan
- Work your plan
- Measure your plan
Begin with the end in mind. Where do you want to take your business this year? Lay out your plans by week, month and quarter on what you want to achieve. Use SMART (Specific | Measurable | Achievable | Realistic | Timely) goals with each part of your plan. Are you looking to increase your monthly recurring revenue (MRR)? Set your target revenue and when you expect to get there. Oh, and is that a realistic goal and can you get it done in time? These are all things to consider. Whether looking at financial, human resources, product, or any other aspect of your business plan, set your SMART goals and get started.
You have your plan now. What is next? Time to work your plan! There are many project management tools to help you stay on track. You can use checklists, excel spreadsheets or tools like Asana to stay on track with yourself and your team. You laid out your strategy with the plan; Now, you need to work the tactics to make it come alive. Beyond project management tools, you need to have a methodology to what you are trying to achieve. What is the most important thing for the day? What are the top three things you want to achieve for the week? Break projects it into chunks and manage them on an ongoing basis over time. This will help you stay on top of the critical items, but keep an eye on the overall strategy.
Using SMART goals helps you baseline what you want to achieve and then go back and measure. Did you achieve what you were trying to accomplish? If you did, great job! If you did not, do not fear. Just reassess and adjust your goal. Did you miss the planned date? Check with your team and determine what caused the miss. Meet with them, get agreement, and plan a new date. But, measurement is key. You may or may not hit all milestones, but you can measure and adjust.
As Mike Tyson once said before one of his fights, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." It is the same for business. You must have a plan, but be prepared to adjust as you work toward your goals.