creating a plan

3 strategies for executing on the plan for your business

So, you’ve done the groundwork by creating your business plan – great effort! Now comes the exciting part of executing on the plan and seeing the goals get closer and closer.

We understand it can be hard to keep going week to week to implement your business plan, but with our 3 tips below, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to successfully execute on the plan and keep your motivation running high.

Strategy 1: Plan your time weekly

Business owners often tell us that managing their time is one of the hardest things about being the boss. A good habit to get into is to sit down at the end of each week and plan what you’ll do for the next week. It won’t take you long, and is a way of identifying days with gaps, or days that are potentially too crowded to achieve your bigger goal-oriented tasks. It’s much easier to fix the weekly calendar in advance, than arrive at Thursday and realise the weekly task list simply won’t get done. A weekly plan will also help you avoid those mid-week mornings of “Hmm, what was I meant to do today?”

Remember that each activity to be completed in the next week must have actual time booked in to complete it. Don’t just have a never-ending list!

When you implement weekly planning, you will start to see a ripple effect on your business momentum. Your tasks will get ticked off, and you will see the results that come from your weekly actions.

To break it down further, each day should consist of 1-3 absolute ‘must-do’s’. You can then build in meetings, appointments and other tasks around them. That way you won’t feel defeated at the end of the day when the crucial business tasks were not addressed.

Strategy 2: Set rewards and consequences

As the owner of your business, only you are responsible for executing on the plan. For this reason, you have to become your own boss, and set the rules for achievements and misses (plus, its great practice for when you have a big team to motivate!).

The reward you choose should represent a sense of achievement for completing all your tasks and growing the business. What will it mean to you? More motivation? A chance to take a few hours to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far? The reward doesn’t have to cost a cent.

Consequences should be put in place so you can re-gather yourself in the event that financial or time goals are not met. When these ‘setbacks’ occur (and, inevitably they will) they can cause you stress or ‘entrepreneurial anxiety’, so do take some time to look after yourself and remind yourself of your ultimate end goal for the business when it does happen.

Strategy 3: Have an accountability coach

Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to cost you anything! Simply think of someone who cares about what you do and is willing to help you. Simply communicate your plan to this person, and schedule an accountability catch-up with them on an agreed day (monthly or bi-monthly is good). Just as a child will work fastidiously towards a goal if they know you have a treat waiting for them at the end – you are more likely to be more productive when someone else knows about your plan and is holding you accountable to it.

If you need more advice on executing on your business plan, time management, and motivation or need someone to hold you accountable, ActionCOACH can help you. To build the right plan for your business download a copy of this eBook Planning for a Successful New Financial Year here.

How to create a business plan that delivers what you want, as well as what you need!

Do you know whether your business plan only covers what’s needed, or will it deliver on what you really want from your business? There is a difference. The difference is YOU. Have you considered yourself in your business plan? Below ActionCOACH lists two considerations for creating a plan for your business, to ensure you are in the plan and that it is effective from start to finish.

Consideration 1: Plan for your own development.
You are central to your business’ success, and no doubt your ultimate business goals are beyond what you’ve already achieved. This means you will need to learn new skills, gain new knowledge, new habits, new values and/or new beliefs to reach these goals. In some cases you may even have to re-develop your core identity. Think about all the personal changes you need to make to achieve each step in your business plan, and include all the courses, mentors, training and reading required. All this is part of a winning business plan!

Consideration 2: Plan holistically.
A business plan should include more than just business-related goals and steps. This is because there is much more to you than just work, so inevitably other things in life will (and should) require your time and attention. Best to factor some ‘life’ into the plan now than resent overworking in the future. Plus, there is no reason that a good old plan can’t extend to other parts of your life too. If you want success in family life, sport, charity or anything else – you need a solid plan. Honesty is a great thing in business, so take a good honest look at how you will maintain your sanity and happiness once the business starts.
Most people forget this step and just plan their business. Then they end up working too much and not having the great life they could have – partly because they ‘accidentally’ built a plan that told them to!

After considering these two vital steps, take one step back!
Everyone has a choice when creating a plan for business. Are you planning to have a successful and exciting year, or not? What 5 things are you going to do in the next year that will still be memorable 20 years from now? What exciting things could you add to your plan right now? Start the year with a few of those ‘what will I tell my grandkids’ kind of goals, and you’ll be inspired to create a winning business plan and enjoy a successful financial year ahead.

Need more help creating a plan for your business? ActionCOACH are business planning experts and can help you plan every part of your business plan. Visit www.actioncoach.com and book in a free first meeting to discuss the possibilities for your business this year. Or you can download the new eBook called Planning for a successful new financial year here.

The five steps to ensuring your business plan is an effective one

When you’re starting a new business, there are probably many things that you are really good at. After all, passion and talent are what spark most business ideas. You might be really good at selling, really creative, or can spot the latest trends a mile off. Conversely, one of the things most new business owners are not great at is creating a business plan. But there is no getting around it – a business plan is a necessary tool for success. MOST businesses fail without a plan, and some will still fail if they have written a plan that’s not effective. Its ok, writing a business plan is something anyone can get better at, with a little help.

We’ve made it somewhat easier to get familiar with how to create the most effective business plan that will set you up for success and give you the confidence to handle anything that comes along during setup or operation.

 

Here are our top five steps to ensure your business plan is effective:

  1. Start with the end in mind, and outline your end goals first. This might be the early retirement or the house deposit. Think big! Then following from that end goal, decide your goal(s) for the financial year. They must be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, a Result and Time-scaled).
  2. Make sure your SMART goals are exciting to you and don’t conflict with one another nor with where you’re heading longer term or in other parts of life. The last thing you want to do is work hard all year, achieve all of your goals and then realize you don’t really care about them or that they were not aligned with your longer term goals.
  3. Outline the smaller steps needed to reach your goals. These should be steps that are small enough to achieve (which gives you confidence) but big enough to make a positive leap forward toward the overall plan. For example, ‘complete marketing plan’ is very broad, and not specific enough to know the time or steps needed to get it done. With large tasks like this, break them down into smaller bite sized chunks!
  4. Ensure the plan is realistic. Have you considered holidays, conferences and other things that might “get in the way” of doing the actions in your plan? Have you listed too many tasks for one time, which means you’re unlikely to be able to complete them all? You need to be able to look at the steps in the plan, as well as their timing, and feel a reasonable level of confidence that they can all be completed. Your business plan should make you feel excited, not overwhelmed!
  5. Ensure that you can track and monitor the progress of every goal within your plan. To do this, ensure that each and every step in the plan is SMAT (different to SMART). That is, Specific, Measurable (so you can see when each step is completed), Achievable and have Time allocated to them. In an annual plan, this will typically be monthly.  In a 90-Day Plan, weekly.

Our clients who have used these recommended five steps when creating a business plan, have grown in confidence, reduced their ‘entrepreneurial anxiety’, set goals and planned for success. You can too.

If you are starting out or trying to grow a relatively new business, here are some of the components of business that ActionCOACH can help you with:

Business planning, goal setting, time management, sales and marketing, increasing leads, improving conversion, implementing systems, building a great team, effective leadership, financial control, cash flow techniques and preparing your business for sale.

ActionCOACH is here ready to help! Please get in touch with our coaches on 02 9146 4439 or download a copy of the new eBook Planning for a successful new financial year here.

The importance of planning right now, for your business

Now that the New Financial Year is here, it seems timely to look at the importance of planning for your business. If you have some (or even just a little) business experience, you will have heard the expression ‘failure to plan is a plan for failure’. Yes – there are numerous benefits to planning in general, many of which we’ve talked about in our previous E-Books.

Here are 3 key benefits to creating a business plan:

  1. Success: Like any goal, ‘planning your plan’ and working out manageable steps, is essential for short and long term success. Most businesses who do not have a plan, do not succeed.
  2. Motivation: A plan with smaller achievable steps that get ticked off are incredibly motivating for business owners and other stakeholders.
  3. Control: Having visibility about where your business is headed reduces stress and gives you a feeling of control.

Is July (The New Financial Year) a good time to create a business plan?

If you didn’t get the chance to make a plan back in January this year – you’re in luck –it is just as important to be planning for the new Financial Year. Planning in the New Financial Year has some great benefits, including:

  1. Track Financial Progress. From a business point of view, a financial year plan makes perfect sense. Business goals are often centred around monetary goals, and tracking these goals during a financial year makes it easy to see how you’re progressing.
  2. Make Tax Simple: Business and tax go hand in hand, so having a business plan that follows the financial year will be more straight-forward for you, your accountant and investors in the business.
  3. Make Financials Simple: If you plan to sell your business, a New Financial Year plan will tell you immediately if your financial details are ready to be shown to potential buyers. What do the last two-three years of financial records look like for your business? What does the year ahead need to look like for you to be ready to sell?

Ready to get started and build your business plan now? Use these in these five simple steps:

  1. Outline your goals first, making sure they’re all genuinely motivating to you. Start with your end goal first (like, living in the Bahamas)
  2. Make your goals ‘SMART’ – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based and Time-scaled
  3. List the smaller, specific and time-scaled, bite-sized steps to reach each goal
  4. Ensure that the overall plan is realistic, otherwise you will feel defeated and lose motivation
  5. Somewhere in the plan, make sure you’ve included down-time and holidaysfor yourself.

Finally, take a step back and make sure your business plan factors in some personal development and personal goals (for example time off, time with family or philanthropic contribution).

Before July slips away, contact us to book in your complimentary coaching session to help build a strong plan for the new financial year.