A GOAL IS JUST A WISH WITHOUT A PLAN
What is the goal for your business? Reach another level of revenue? Perhaps you plan to move up to six figures, seven or even eight? Many privately held corporations, just pick a number for next year’s goal. Why? Because they feel they have been so successful in the past, their sales will continue to increase each year.
Successful businesses continue to reach the top each year by following a step-by-step plan. Following mega publicly traded corporations, those that don’t have a plan will also fail. During the pandemic, many big-box retail stores began to close their doors.
Don’t strive for your goal without a plan. Unfortunately, I believe many business owners also avoid planning because they feel the process is too complicated. This article will describe how easy it is to create a simple four-step to follow your goals.
Four-Step Planning Process
Step One: People
Every business should be able to target its ideal customers. Describe the perfect customer for your business. Who are they? Can you describe them in detail? What emotion do they portray when purchasing your product or service? Whether you sell to another business or consumers, people make purchases. When do they need your product or service? Are you able to meet their timing needs? Under what circumstances do these people search for your product or service to buy? How often do they purchase your product, or do you sell a once-in-a-lifetime product? Why do customers buy from you versus a competitor? What value do they receive from you they do not receive from your competition.
Step Two: Marketing and Sales
In marketing and sales, describe how you will reach the ideal customer you identified in step one. For example, how do customers learn about your business? Is it online? In-person? Or any other number of methods such as direct mail? Where do you market and sell to your ideal customers? Are you specific to one geography, or does your business cover a broader territory in your Country or International? When do you market to your ideal customer base? Is it tied to your customer’s timing needs, or is it random? Why did you select a specific marketing method? How does it compare to your competition?
Step Three: Operations
Efficiently managed operations are crucial to the overall success of meeting your goals. For example, how many moving parts do you have in your business? Is each part within a separate department controlled by a specific group of people? Will you have enough operational support to meet the needs of managing your business matched to the demands of your customers? Do you need to revise your operations or increase the number of people involved to make your business a success when reaching your new goal?
Step Four: Finance
In this step, review the financial condition of your business in alignment with your new goals. For example, will you need to expand marketing and operations? Will this require you to invest more money? Are you currently making enough money to handle this investment, or will you have to borrow through a loan or other financial method? How do you measure success compared to your plans to reach your goal? Are you measuring your success with the most efficient accounting and economical tracking methods? Currently, what are your financial relationships? Do you have the proper connections to reach your goals, or will you have to add more contacts and vendors to your organization?
After completing these four simple steps, you will have a strategy to reach your goal. You will have a formal strategic plan by adding target completion dates and the names of the people responsible for completing each task. Instead of a number for your goal, you will have an actionable plan and no longer a “wish” to succeed.
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