Planning for 2017

It is staggering to think that only 8% of UK businesses have a documented plan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these businesses account for over 80% of all profits made by UK companies. There is a clear message here – if you plan you are more likely to succeed.

It is at this time of year businesses start to think about planning and setting goals for the following year. Very few do anything about. So in this blog I want to share you with you some thoughts to help you create an awesome plan.

Let’s start with some questions you need to asking when you are planning for 2017:

  • Have we set goals that are ambitious but achievable?
  • Do we know what we need to do every quarter and every month to get to our goals?
  • Are we using a strategy road map or one page plan that we return to on a regular basis?
  • Do we have the right people on our team?
  • What changes can we make in our business this year to turbocharge our sales?

If you have some answers but could use help planning next year, it might be a good time to consider to speak to your coach or joining a mastermind group of other business leaders where you can get access to strategy planning tools.

Success leaves clues

When you are getting ready to set your strategy for 2017, remember that “Success leaves clues.” This is one of my favourite quotes from Tony Robbins. I always like to remind businesses that your products and services should be original, but how you sell them doesn’t have to be. In other words, if you want to be successful, study the strategies used by successful companies.

How to find the clues

As you look at your 2017, commit to researching what you can find online about competitors or leaders in your field, but also do some undercover investigating.

 Find a friend who used to work at that company or knows someone who did and see if you can pick their brain about what made that company successful.

Remember, success leaves clues, and it’s your job to follow that trail. Then take what you find and kick it around with your team and advisors to see what seems to apply to your business and growth plans.

Strategy + Relentless Execution = Success

In the business book classic, Good to Great, author Jim Collins studied high performing companies across the US and found that they all did these three things really well:

  1. They have the right team, full of highly disciplined, action oriented people
  2. The team comes up with a plan
  3. The team executes the plan through disciplined action

He sums it up like this: Strategy + Relentless Execution = Success.

These “great” companies also had other key characteristics, like humble and powerful leaders, and it’s worth reading the book to see what those were and how you measure up. However for now, let’s focus on the strategy. Get the right team together, make a plan, and deliver it. It sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how few companies take the necessary time to make the plan, and even when they do, how few are able to execute with focus and discipline.

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